Desperate Passage: The Donner Party’s Perilous Journey West

Recognizing the “Class of 2013” – The Soozie Courter Hemophilia Scholarship Winners

With the school year now in full swing, I’d like to recognize the “Class of 2013” winners of the Soozie Courter Hemophilia Scholarship – a group of students with hemophilia who are
dedicated to their education and to making a difference in our community.
Earlier this year, I wrote about this Pfizer-sponsored tuition US assistance program, which
happens to be named after a woman that I had the pleasure of knowing years ago.
Soozie Courter, who lived in the town next to me and who would share rides with me sometimes, worked in the hemophilia division at Genetics Institute (now at Pfizer) would be proud of this year’s winners and the continued emphasis placed on supporting academic excellence among the hemophilia community.
We are fortunate that there are numerous scholarships available to current and future US college students with bleeding disorders. Costs like tuition, books and supplies, room and board, health insurance and transportation can add up quickly and the Soozie Courter Hemophilia Scholarship program aims to help address these challenges. Scholarships are awarded to applicants who present the best combination of a creative and persuasive essay, excellent recommendations and superior academic standing.
For the 2013-2014 academic year, Pfizer awarded $50,000 in scholarships to 17 US graduate and undergraduate students with hemophilia. Through their involvement in local hemophilia chapters and mentorships, and their commitment to future plans, these students personify what it means to overcome challenges to make a difference in their communities.
I’d like to congratulate all the scholarship recipients—many of whom I have known since they were kids— and wish them much luck in the coming school year and beyond!
Travis Albright                   Eric Frey
Michael Bennett                 Alexander Kattenbaugh
Michael Bishop                  Shawn Whelan
William Bowles                 Lynden Prior
Andrew-Paul Deeb            Evan Poole
Jorge de la Riva                 Michael O’Connor
Dutcher                  Hunter Montgomery
Clayton Lynn                    Adam Mier
BoDean Messier
Visit Hemophilia Village for more information on the
Soozie Courter Hemophilia
Scholarship program,
and check back here next week to learn more
about three
this year’s winners!
Great Book I Just Read
Desperate Passage: The Donner Party’s Perilous Journey West by Ethan Rarick [Kindle]
The Donner Party indelibly stained American history for their horrific survival stories of cannibalism in the Sierra Nevada in 1846, trapped when the short-cut and untried passage they attempted filled with 13 feet of snow. Almost all schoolchildren read about this, but what was the real story? In this well-researched and written book, Rarick reveals the dreams, desperation and daring of the 81 people who set out for California in hopes of a better life. In that group were newborns and toddlers, teens and old men. 45 survived a situation that was incomprehensible; what is amazing is that any survived. Rarick delves deeply into the writings left behind, the personalities, the situational leaders and heroes and scoundrels. Human souls in their most desperate hours, some emerged stronger; some simply gave up. All needed one another. How the children suffered… It is a profound story and a testament to American willpower and daring. A great read. Five/five stars.
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