Youthful cancer survivor recipient of scholarship

ST. LOUIS — Cassie Bess of Heavener is one of 38 students from across the United States to be awarded a college scholarship from The National Children’s Cancer Society’s Beyond the Cure program. Bess is a junior at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. The Beyond the Cure scholarship program was created to aid young survivors as they move forward with their lives after cancer. This support helps young adults achieve their educational, professional and personal goals.“The scholarship recipients show all of us how to successfully turn a challenge into something positive,” said Mark Stolze, president and CEO of the NCCS. “The Beyond the Cure scholarship program is a vehicle to help these individuals move forward with their lives in a meaningful way.”Scholarship applicants must be childhood cancer survivors living in the United States, under the age of 25 and diagnosed before the age of 18. The program is open to all childhood cancer survivors who currently attend or plan to attend an institution of higher education in the US.Applicants are asked what advice they would give to other survivors entering their first year of college.Bess said, “You will meet many new people, some who you really like, but you will soon find out that they are not a good fit into your lifestyle. You have to find a way to weed out the influences that are a distraction. Choose to lead the way – don’t follow the path.”To date, the scholarship program has awarded more than $366,000 in scholarship money to childhood cancer survivors across the country. The Aflac Foundation and BNSF Railway Foundation are supporters of the program.