|2013 Scholarship Winners:|
Marissa Payby was born in March of 1995 with Tricuspid Atresia. By 1998, she had already undergone three open heart surgeries. Growing up, she felt that her heart defects held her back from being able to participate in sports, but they did not hold her back from doing other things she liked throughout school. She found that she enjoyed photography, painting, and ceramics. “With not being able to do sports, it showed me a new love for photography, which I would love to do more of and minor in, in college, to learn new techniques.” In addition to her creative talents, Marissa is a giving person. She has raised money and provided holiday meals and gifts for her local community, as well as put together trick or treating bags for kids at Westchester Medical Center (where she had all of her surgeries) every year for Halloween. Marissa recently graduated from Ossining High School in New York. She will be attending SUNY Adirondack Community College this year, and aspires to one day work at Walt Disney World. May all of your dreams come true Marissa!!
Sylvia D’Alessandro was born in December 1994 with Tetralogy of Fallot with Pulmonary Atresia. She has undergone five heart surgeries, the last one being in 2009. Growing up, Sylvia found it difficult being told that she couldn’t do certain things like playing soccer or going on roller coasters. She says that she finally felt that she fit in when she started going to Hope With Heart, a camp for children with various congenital heart defects. It was there that she gained the confidence to try new things, and soon after, she joined her school’s marching band. “Being able to do that is one of my biggest accomplishments. The band turned into my family away from Hope With Heart.” Sylvia says that, “From all my experiences in life, I have made my mind up on what I want to do for my career. I want to become a Pediatric Cardiologist. I want to make other kids know that they are not alone. My inspiration was all the doctors and nurses that were so kind and understanding to my situation. One day I will be in the same position of making kids’ lives better. Giving back to the community that has dedicated so much time to me is what I want to be doing for the rest of my life.” Sylvia recently graduated from Middletown High School North in New Jersey. She will be attending Brookdale Community College in the Fall. Best wishes in your medical career Sylvia!!
|2012 Scholarship Winner: Lauren Wright|