$1,500 Community Volunteer Scholarship Recipients
2018 – Vilmarie Ocasio, Coastal Carolina University
About Vilmarie’s Volunteer Involvement
At the age of 16, Vilmarie decided to work on raising awareness about Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Cancer. She was determined to find a way to help people get easy access to resources and information, so she could influence awareness and be a helping hand for anyone in need.
She advocated for the approval of the Senate Bill 1180 to create a mandatory registry of people diagnosed with MS in Puerto Rico. To achieve this, she worked tirelessly on the project for three consecutive months, obtaining a unanimous approval by both Legislative Assemblies of Puerto Rico. It was converted into Law 85 July 22, 2016. This is the first law of a required registry regarding MS in the world. Thanks to this law, genetic studies are already being carried out at the University of Miami to research the incidence of MS in the Hispanic population.
After that, Vilmarie helped build and create an alliance with The Association of Medical Directors in Peurto Rico to continue sponsoring educational conferences on MS for Primary Doctors and Medical Directors. For the first time, She was able to coordinate an educational conference where primary doctors of the island were educated on what MS is and how to apply treatments. An MS Neurologist Specialist offered the training and spoke on how the symptoms are misinterpreted with other diseases. Furthermore, she promoted the celebration of the first “Orange Jean Day” in Puerto Rico and the School donated funding to the MS Foundation of PR. She created brochures and presentations on MS and Cancer and distributed them at schools, hospitals, medical offices, government offices of Puerto Rico, and in social media.
For the second consecutive year in 2017, Vilamarie created an innovative campaign with the theme “Wink for Multiple Sclerosis Awareness”, where people around the world were able to participate. She integrated important agencies and involved key school districts and hospitals to disseminate the message to the world. A year later, she created a worldwide Multiple Sclerosis Campaign that had impacted 170,000 people around the world. In the future, Vilmarie hopes to continue with her vision of educating and supporting people, family, health professionals, and the general public to learn about MS and Cancer.
Learn more about Vilmarie’s work with MS
2017 – Kate Ekanem, Muhlenberg College
About Kate’s Volunteer Involvement
Kate comes from a country that is presently considered one of the most dangerous in the world for girls and women. Across Nigeria, education and employment for women is still almost an uphill task that keeps the cycle of unemployment for women unbroken, and incidences that have led to so many deaths due to poverty and bad health condition. At age eighteen, Kate decided to devote her time and energy to thousands of girls and women who were going through the same deep depression and needed help and support. Her mission is to uplift girls who experienced the similar situation of Poverty and lack of motherly affection like she went through. Her aim is to get them financially independent by empower them with tradable skills. In 2012, when she was eighteen, she transcended her pains to creativity by starting Kate Tales Foundation, a nonprofit that advocates for girl’s education, women empowerment and emerging writer’s development.
Learn about The Kate Tales Foundation
“Something Special” about Kate
“I’ve had the privilege to meet and mentor many young women around the world. There is something special about Kate Ekanem. Rarely have I met someone who consistently overcomes extraordinary odds and confronts every obstacle with the strength, perseverance, tenacity, and enthusiasm of Kate. Born into a culture that doesn’t value girls or girl’s education, Kate has confounded every tenet. Precisely because she had to fight for her education and fight to learn, she committed herself, as a teenager, to being a girl’s rights advocate, focusing on the education of other girls in her native Nigeria, through her non-profit Kate Tales Foundation. For Kate, a college education was a dream that she felt might be unattainable. That she is now a first-year student at Muhlenberg College, in Allentown, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., is extraordinary. Dealhack’s Community Volunteer Scholarship helped make this a reality for Kate.”
–Lauren C. Anderson, LC Anderson International Consulting
Apply now to be the next Community Volunteer Scholarship recipient!