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HeavenCent Scholarship

1 winner$500
Application Deadline
May 15, 2024
Winners Announced
Jun 15, 2024
Education Level
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
Direct or indirect experience with sickle cell disease

Sickle cell disease is an inherited disease where red blood cells form a crescent moon shape and die early, leaving only a small number of healthy red blood cells. This creates a blockage of blood flow, causing a sickle cell crisis.

Centoria Shantay Robertson lived with sickle cell disease for forty years, but she never let the disease define who she was. She was passionate about education and encouraged others with her disease to pursue their dreams. As a way to honor her memory and support other people who have experience with this disease, the HeavenCent Scholarship will support a student who has direct or indirect experience with sickle cell disease.

Students are eligible to apply if they have personal experience or indirect experience - of an immediate family member - with sickle cell disease.

To apply, write about yourself and how your experience with the disease has affected and empowered you.

Selection Criteria:
Essay, Perseverance, Boldest Profile
Published January 14, 2024
Essay Topic

Tell us about yourself. How has your direct or indirect experience with sickle cell disease affected, influenced, and empowered you?

400–600 words

Winning Application

Channing Summers
North Carolina A & T State UniversityHIGH POINT, NC
How My Stumbling Blocks Became My Steppingstones Throughout life everyone faces many obstacles, trials, and tribulations. Often, we tend to overlook what we could’ve gained from those experiences. I personally find it very important for us to take a second and ponder on the good perceived from the situation rather than dwell on the bad. During a time in my life, I reached a rough patch. Around this time, I was in 8th grade. School wasn’t going very well and health wise I wasn’t doing the best. I have Sickle Cell Anemia which is an everyday challenge. Sickle Cell Anemia affects the shape of the red blood cells. Some of my blood cells are shaped like a sickle or banana instead of a round circle. This condition is so unpredictable. When I can't treat the pain at home, I go to the hospital to get pain relief. When I go into the hospital for a sickle cell pain crisis, I usually stay around 6 days. I dislike going into the hospital. No young adult wants to deal with having a chronic disease. I go to Duke hospital every three months to see the hematologist. I’ve been on a low dose chemotherapy drug since I was one years old. This medication helps my body to make healthy red blood cells. I remember a time when I was procrastinating on my schoolwork, and this was a very tough time. So, then I had a pain crisis. I stayed home from school for about a week. Even though I was sick I had to still do school work on top of the other assignments I needed to complete, all while being in pain. I remember it was towards the end of the week my mother sat next to me on my bed. She told me “CJ this will always be an obstacle in life you will have to overcome, therefore you must do your best in everything you do while you’re WELL so when you are sick you will have less to worry about.” At the time in my mind, I felt like my SCD was hindering me in all aspects of my life. So at first I wasn’t adhering to her message. As I began to get better, I started to reflect on what she said to me. Then I soon realized how important the message she was trying to convey to me really was. I had to learn this is something I will have to live with. Realizing that I can’t use my SCD as an excuse or let it get in the way of my success in life. I felt like this was essential for me to learn in order for me to better myself and my future. I am currently attending NC Agricultural and Technical State University. My major is computer science. I would like to design video games. I hit a rough patch my freshman year. I had to learn how to be independent and take care of myself while being away from home. I was overwhelmed and I kept it all inside. I learned after the first semester, that is okay to ask for help. I receive services from the Office of Accessibility Services when I feel overwhelmed. This scholarship will help me and my parents financially and I am grateful for the opportunity to submit this essay in honor of Ms. Robertson.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is May 15, 2024. Winners will be announced on Jun 15, 2024.

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