Academic Scholarships for Texas Graduating High School Seniors with Asthma
The Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America, Texas, a non-profit 501-c-3 organization, is proud to provide 3 merit scholarships for qualified and deserving students in need who have a history of asthma. The award is a one time payment of $1500.00 and will be payable to the college or university of choice to help defray costs of advanced education. Funding for this scholarship is provided through general public memorial and tribute donations made to AAFA-TX and donations from the Toby Starr Trust Fund. Ms. Starr, born and raised in the Bronx, New York, was a graduate of the University of Vermont and NYU graduate school. She was a research scientist for 40 years at New York University’s Langone Medical Center as well as a loving daughter and friend who left us in 2008 after a life-long struggle with asthma. Part of her legacy is to help other asthmatics achieve their dreams.
THE AAFA-TEXAS KAREEM BACCHUS MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIPS
Kareem Bacchus was an exceptionally charismatic young man who also happened to have asthma and food allergies to seafood, dairy products and peanuts, diseases that never hindered his joy for life, his passion for music and tennis, his academic achievements or sense of fun that made him so loved. His personal mantra was “life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you react to it.” A 2007 graduate of Plano West High School, Plano, Texas, he was attending Indiana University in Bloomington, where he was accepted in the Kelly School of Business on a merit scholarship, when he suddenly fell unconscious and passed away 2 days later on Sept. 18, 2007.
Kareem’s energetic personality, optimism and baritone singing voice won him friends everywhere. He approached life with a full heart, everything from his friendships to academics to his roles in musicals and recording for YouTube.
Besides music and performing and his passion for tennis, Kareem was a black belt in kwon do, worked as a lifeguard and also in a Mall clothing store, activities he was told as a child could never be possible because he had asthma. Determination and a need for a normal life proved otherwise. He saw his asthma and allergies as conditions to be controlled. Asthma was a part of him but it would not control his life – he would control his asthma. And he did control it through education and understanding the disease, learning what triggered his symptoms and then avoiding those triggers and using his medications as prescribed. An excellent student, his plans were to pursue a career in international business. Kareem brought happiness, laughter and a bright light into this world. A leader, an optimistic and compassionate friend and loving son and brother, Kareem is an example to all. These scholarships are established in tribute to and in memory of a young man who left a very big footprint.