For DonorsFor Applicants

Randy King Memorial Scholarship

5 winners, $10,000 each
Application Deadline
Jun 15, 2024
Winners Announced
Jul 9, 2024
Education Level
High School
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Has been impacted by cancer
Education Level:
High school senior

Randy King was a beloved husband and father who sadly passed away from pancreatic cancer on September 4, 2023. 

During his two-year battle, he and his family went through significant turmoil, worrying about how to send their children to school in light of the financial costs of treatment. They were given so much love and support and are now continuing the cycle of giving to help students whose families have been affected by cancer achieve their dreams.

This scholarship aims to honor the life of Randy King by supporting students whose families have been affected by cancer.

Any high school senior in Tennessee who is attending an eligible school may apply for this scholarship if they have been impacted by cancer personally or through a family member.

Applicants must be attending Brentwood High School, Centennial High School, Fairview High School, Franklin High School, Independence High School, Nolensville High School, Page High School, Ravenwood High School, Renaissance High School, Summit High School, Vanguard, Virtual High School, Currey Ingram Academy, Fusion Academy Franklin, Battle Ground Academy, Brentwood Academy, Franklin Christian Academy, Franklin Classical School, Grace Christian Academy, Trintas Classical Academy, or Gateway Academy at the Learning Lab.

To apply, tell us how your experience with cancer has affected you, what the impact has been, and how you have worked through this challenge. Additionally, at least 1 letter of recommendation will be required.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Drive, Impact
Published March 1, 2024
Essay Topic

How has your cancer or the cancer of a family member affected you? What has the impact been? How have you worked through this?

400–600 words

Winning Applications

Sammy Ibrahim
Brentwood High SchoolBRENTWOOD, TN
My world was flipped upside down during my junior year. I had just gotten back into the flow of things after missing 9 weeks of school with a lung infection called Histoplasmosis. My swim career was practically over after that, and I had double the school work to do in half the amount of time. Not even a full month of being back in school, I learned my father had been diagnosed with gastroesophageal cancer, stage four. This was out of nowhere and took a huge toll on my family since it was caught very late and the doctors said there wasn’t much they could do, but they would try their best. A month into my father’s treatment, my family was hit with even more devastating news. My mother was diagnosed with Breast cancer, stage two. Although hers was caught early, both my mother and my father have now both been diagnosed with cancer. It was now up to me to mature early and become an adult. It was time for me to start helping out. Both my parents had very similar schedules for their treatments, so I was put in charge of a lot. I was now driving my brother everywhere, having to manage schedules on my own, and still be available in case either of my parents needed my assistance. This was a very hard time as I was managing swim practice and studying for school at the same time, and by the time summer rolled around, I was just as busy as before with college applications and interviews for Congressional Nominations, Service Academies, and ROTC scholarships. Things took a turn for the worst when we found out that my father's cancer was not only incurable but also spreading. The doctors gave a gut-wrenching time frame of six to twelve months left for him to live. Now not only am I going to college in a few months, but now my mother, who, on the bright side, has finished her treatment and is off chemotherapy, will have to feel the absence of her oldest son and her husband. As of now, we have tried everything to make this situation easier for all of us. My father, unfortunately, has had to file for disability and will soon be relieved of his job at Asurion. We have had plenty of families help us out, and we are beyond grateful to all of them and all they do to help us try to keep a positive outlook for the future. I will be attending Texas A&M University in their College of Engineering and will be a part of the Corps of Cadets which will lead to a future career in the Air Force/Space Force. My brother will be homeschooled next year so that he can keep my mom company while still obtaining a high school education. Although this has been a very difficult and challenging time in our lives, we have in many ways learned from this experience and have not only become closer as a family but as a whole with our local community.
Alexandria Frank
Ravenwood High SchoolFRANKLIN, TN
My Dad and I had a tradition of trying new foods. From Chinese Peking Duck to Israeli Kugel, every bite deepened our bond. We would find ourselves after a night out smelling like various spices with our stomachs stuffed to the brim. Although I meant that “full feeling” in our stomachs figuratively, this phrase cruelly turned into a reality. When my Dad was unexpectedly diagnosed with stage four Colon Cancer, he continued to make it a priority to take me out to weekly dinners. We continued to expand our taste palettes and try new meals. Eventually, my Dad’s tumors started to feed on not only his radiant personality but also his appetite. One night, I watched him push away a plate of his favorite dish, his eyes, once full of zest, now mirrored pain and fatigue. My Father’s passing triggered a massive upheaval, so I did not have much time to process my emotions. My mother, who had been a homemaker, faced the daunting task of managing our finances alone. Without my Dad’s income, it forced us to sell our dream home in LA and move back to Nashville. When my Dad died, so did our cherished tradition of discovering new food and cultures together. Food no longer burst with vibrant flavors, their meaning blunted and held no interest to me anymore. Instead, it reminded me of the tasteful memories we would never get to experience together again. A year later as I was sitting in my high school cafeteria talking about the tasteless, well-avoided school lunch, I started to ponder why there were only a few cuisines served to the student body. Students were not exposed to a lot of different cuisines like I was, and honestly, that bothered me. I wanted to share my value of exploring food with my peers, but felt lost on how to do so. The idea of talking to other people about food should have been easy, but it still caused painful memories that I was not ready to experience. Coincidentally after thinking about this for a few days, the daily school announcements came on. Our principal chimed on the intercom with what she called an “exciting announcement.” She mentioned that the annual school club showcase was next week. Then it hit me. I was going to create a club about food. On the day of the club showcase, I titled my poster “The International Food Club: Club for adventurous eaters.” Although this advertisement was far from perfect, I ended up having over 200 people sign up. This made the club the fastest growing at my school that year! That year, I held many meetings for our organization. Each gathering became a culinary journey, introducing a new cuisine for members to explore. Before we indulged, I took the time to research and educate my peers about the origins and significance of the dishes we were about to savor. What I didn’t realize is that through the food club, I was able to transform my grief into an incentive for change that created a whole new community of adventurous eaters. My Dad taught me that trying new foods was not just about satisfying our taste buds. It was about experiencing different cultures and learning about other people’s traditions and perspectives. Each dish we explored in the club wasn't just about the flavors; it was a blend of traditions, stories, and memories. Not only did my Dad inspire me to try something outside of my comfort zone, but he taught me that my passions and values can be applied anywhere that I go.
Benjamin Chance
Independence High SchoolFRANKLIN, TN
On a cold, rainy spring night, I lay awake in my bed listening to the train chug along behind my house. Overthinking and worrying kept me awake. “Why did this have to happen to me?” I asked myself. April 22nd, 2018 was a day that changed my life forever. I was a sixth grader on the way to the hospital with my mom and sister. My dad was losing his two-year battle with cancer. It felt like I was in a bad dream, going up the elevator to see him for the last time. The elevator seemed to crawl upwards at the speed of a snail on the way to the ICU floor. I was fearful of what I would experience that day, and I didn’t know what was to come in the days ahead. I hoped that I would pinch myself and wake up from this nightmare. In the next few months following his death, many friends and family came together to make us feel loved and protected, but that missing piece was still hot on our minds. It was a hard pill to swallow realizing that I would never be able to turn to him for help or advice ever again, but that was reality and I had to accept it. Thankfully, my mom is one of the strongest people I know. With her on my side, guiding me through acting like both my dad and mom, things were a lot easier. It helped build up a stronger relationship with my mom. Going into High School with no father figure was a hard hill to climb. Many of my friend’s dads would sometimes call me and help me with things sometimes, but most of the time I had to figure out things myself. Doing things around the house like mowing, weed-eating, cutting down trees, or even fixing the headlights on my mom's car was difficult at first. Teaching myself hands-on chores that my dad used to do was very helpful to who I am today. With the help of my mom, and my friends I pushed hard to get good grades and not make my dad's death an excuse. My boss also stepped up as sort of a father figure to me, teaching me consistency and how to work hard. My dad was as smart as a whip, and a very successful man that always took care of his family. I want to be able to support my family like he did, and his college education was a big reason he was able to do that so well. I believe that with the help of this scholarship, I can carry on the legacy of my dad.
caroline clingan
Centennial High SchoolFRANKLIN, TN
When I was six years old, my father called a family meeting. Thoughts rushed through my mind of what the reason for the summoning would be. A baby on the way? Am I in trouble? All the possibilities were cycling through my head, except one. Cancer. My mother had had cancer for as long as I could remember, but this time it felt different. “It has come back in your mother’s spine and hips,” my father spoke sensitively. “This kind is irreparable.” Sirens screamed through the dark night, as a cool breeze traveled through my hair. The eerie crescendo made its way up my childhood street. A stretcher crept up the dark wood stairs and entered my parents bedroom. My mother floated like an angel down, down, down. Her bones peeking through her skin, her eyes trying to smile. Then, they were gone. No more sirens, no more wind, no more mom. From this moment on, my life felt like a sliver of ice slowly melting away, always fearing when it would disappear beneath my feet. Anxiety filled my mind. My father began spending more time at work. At fourteen, my sister began scrambling to fill the shoes of a mother. It was chaos. The complexity of grief overwhelmed me. My father remarried a wonderful lady with a heart of gold. What was not to like? But I grew cold and resented her. My father could move on, but why couldn't I? The boulder of grief was growing; I was shrinking. I moved into a new home with new siblings, who weren't my blood, when the world shut down. I was alone every day and every night with the people I resented most. I grew restless. My fear of feeling stuck for the rest of my life grew stronger than the fear of loss. I was ready to start pushing the boulder. My stomach turned, my hands were sweaty, as I admitted to my father that therapy was needed to gain the strength to budge the rock in front of me. Acknowledge your feelings, have grace for yourself, and feel what is being felt. My therapist taught me how to allow myself to feel, and discipline allowed me to trust my emotions. My life turned from gray skies to blue and it felt as though the glasses of life were finally being cleaned. My words written on lined paper was my way of “getting my thoughts untangled” as my therapist said. Writing allowed me to see my thoughts and rearrange them to see the world from another perspective. My line of thinking was planned out right in front of me. I analyzed my thoughts and dissected them. Soon I could write about all the things I loved about every day. Disciplining myself to see the positive, working towards happiness. Life excites me, and my future gives me motivation. I transcend through life, enjoying every moment and learning all the lessons I can. I am thrilled to use all that I have learned in my next stage of life, my strength to persevere through any troublesome time, soak in the good and the bad of everyday life, and most importantly have my family by my side through all of it.
Kathryn Edwards
Ravenwood High SchoolBrentwood, TN
After 12 rounds of chemotherapy, 3 months of radiation, and 7 brain surgeries, I’m only here because of God’s plan for my life. I am a brain tumor and traumatic brain injury survivor! In fact, I’m thriving! I’ve spent the past four years rebuilding my life, and the fact that I’m applying to college is a modern-day miracle. By freshman year of high school, I was already undergoing treatment for a brain tumor on my optic nerve, better known as an optic glioma. It all started with blurry vision and my quest for a cool pair of glasses. I ended up instead with an aggressive chemotherapy regimen, no hair, and no appetite. Chemo feels like a mild stomach virus along with random and inexplicable aches and pains. I would sleep all day and all night because sleeping was the only thing I could do, since I was so weak. My mom would help me bathe and my dad would carry me up the stairs each night. After three months, my MRI showed the tumor did not respond to chemo. Would you believe I was happy to stop the chemo even though it wasn’t working? The next step would be proton radiation. While the world was in a Covid shutdown, my mom and I would commute from Rhode Island to Mass General in Boston five days a week for proton therapy. Under normal circumstances, this commute would not work, but because of the Covid lockdown, we drove the otherwise impossible route. Radiation involved a scary-looking hockey mask and just a few minutes each day under the proton beam. My nurses were awesome, and we rocked out to some of our favorite tunes. Eventually, it appeared the radiation was working. My tumor had holes in it. Think Swiss cheese. Everything was going well, maybe a little too well, until it wasn’t. Swelling is a common side effect of radiation, but when the swelling is in your brain, it’s obviously life threatening. Months later after treatment, I went to sleep one afternoon and didn’t wake up. I was in a coma for four days due to my brain swelling. I had part of my skull removed. I spent thirteen days in ICU and of course have no memory of the catastrophic event. However, I do remember waking up in the hospital to my mother looking horrible, with deranged hair and puffy eyes, wondering what had happened. I would go on to recover unlike anything my neurosurgeon had imagined, even with additional brain surgeries as part of my healing. I have a shunt and a partial prosthetic skull, which gives me an automatic pass on rollercoasters. There is no medical explanation for why I’m here. God is good! I’ve had to relearn how to read, type, walk, bathe, hold a pencil or paintbrush, even brush my new locks of hair. I’m now active in helping my neurosurgeon raise money for brain tumor research, specific to gliomas. Whenever I’m back in the hospital for a routine scan, my mom and I drop off coffee gift cards for the families at ICU. Coffee is life, according to my mom. Throughout this journey, I became closer to God. I prayed whenever I could. I was baptized by my dad at church; it was and always will be the best day of my life! I don’t live with a prognosis in mind, and always plan to live life to the fullest. I’ve realized God is good all the time. Even on the most challenging days, I think “I’m still here because of Him.”


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Jun 15, 2024. Winners will be announced on Jul 9, 2024.

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