Each academic year a high school senior has the opportunity to apply for a $2,000 scholarship. TSO created the scholarship to honor the memory of deceased members and to further promote the importance of organ, eye and tissue donor awareness through a community service project. High school students are asked the question of donation when applying for a Learner's Permit/ Driver's License. We believe the concept of donation is a timely and relevant topic for them at this time.
THE TSO MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP IS AWARDED TO ONE ELIGIBLE STUDENT EVERY YEAR
LAUREN SHIELDS - 2018
June 20, 2018 was a very good day for TSO. At our regular meeting, TSO presented its 2018 High School Memorial Scholarship to Lauren Shields, a senior at Albertus Magnus High School in Batavia, NY. In addition to TSO, the Eye Bank for Sigght Restoration joined the meeting to award its scholarship to Lauren as well.
At the age of 9, Lauren suffered cardiomyopathy. For Lauren, the only fix would be a heart transplant. Lauren was put into a voluntary coma to keep her functioning while she waited for the day. Fortunately, the day came and Lauren received her heart.
Since that time 10 years ago, Lauren has been a tireless advocate on behalf of organ donation and registration. Lauren has worked so fervently that the New York State law requiring people to be asked about organ donor registration on their driver’s license is called Lauren’s Law.
Lauren is attending Providence College starting in September, 2018 with an eye to medical school and becoming a cardiologist. We are truly happy to award this Memorial Scholarship to Lauren.
Victoria Mrozinski - 2017
The Transplant Support Organization (TSO) has awarded its 2017 Memorial Scholarship to Victoria Mrozinski, Senior at Tappan Zee High School. The Scholarship is given to the high school student who participates in an educational or public service initiative related to organ, eye and tissue donation. The sister of a deceased donor, Victoria has inspired many to register as donors. Victoria was a founding member of a group that raises money by selling butterflies. The money that is raised is contributed to the public efforts of LiveOnNY. She also has volunteered at public events to encourage people to talk about organ donation and join the organ donation registry. Victoria also participates in scouting activities and volunteers with the Ladies Auxiliary of her local fire department. She maintains an outstanding school academic record and is on the high school swim team, choir, and dramatics. Victoria now attends James Madison University.
Brianna Barker – 2015
Brianna Barker attended Washingtonville High School in Orange County. After graduating, Brianna went on to Penn State, where she is finishing up her first year. Brianna created a video that she submitted to TSO showing her story along with the story of her donor.
And from Veronica Barker, Brianna’s mother: “Brianna is doing wonderful!! She is a freshman at Penn State/University Park campus, majoring in immunology & infectious disease. She entered as a pre vet major but through her studies she has developed a passion for immunology as she's been able to apply her coursework to her life experience. Her immunology studies this year have enabled her to get an in depth understanding of anti rejection medicines and how a transplant affects a recipient's immune system, and she hopes to make a positive impact in this field in the future. We are all so grateful for organ donation which has made all of Brianna's accomplishments possible. Brianna will always be honored to have been selected as a TSO scholarship recipient, and will continue to strive to make TSO proud of her achievements.“
Joseph Panzarino - 2014
Joseph Panzarino was a senior at Somers High School in 2014 when TSO awarded him its scholarship. Joseph was a member of the town fire squad and staged an accident in the parking lot where organ donation was discussed.
Joseph is in his second year at the Maritime College. He studies naval architecture and is doing his coursework for a bachelor of engineering. He sails every summer and is working toward his Engine License, allowing him to become an officer in the Merchant Marine.
Christian Falco - 2013
Transplant Support Organization (TSO) awards its 2013 Memorial Scholarship to Christian Falco, a student at Westlake High School, Thornwood, New York. Christian and his family are residents of Valhalla, NY. The Scholarship is given to honor the memory of members of TSO who were transplant recipients. Christian received his award at a TSO meeting on June 19, 2013.
Christian’s grandmother, Carol Johnson, is a transplant recipient and inspired Christian to become involved with promoting public awareness for organ donation and registration on the New York State DonateLife donor registry. Christian “educated the educators” by setting up a table at the Superintendent’s staff meeting, and distributing information about organ donation to the teachers.
Besides his support for organ donation, Christian is an outstanding student, Eagle Scout, and track and lacrosse participant.
His grandparents, Carol and George Johnson, live in Valhalla, NY. Christian and his grandparents are shown below.
You will find the criteria for eligibility here. If a student is interested, they need to develop or participate in an educational or public service initiative relating to organ, eye and tissue donation.
Volunteers are welcome from the TSO participant population. They may be recipients, pre-transplant recipients, family members, friends, and members of the public who have an interest in organ donation and transplantation.