Second Chance Blog


2015 Jessica Beth Schwartz Scholarship Winners



With the ever-increasing cost of college tuition and books, the Jessica Beth Schwartz Memorial Scholarship helps ease the pressure of educational expenses by awarding $2,500 scholarships to three students under the age of 25 each year. Over its 13-year history, the scholarship has proudly awarded more than $100,000 to nearly 50 students!

The event and scholarship were founded in 2003 by the Schwartz family in honor of Jessica Beth Schwartz, a heart transplant recipient who was a gifted student and artist.  Jessica was able to live eight years post-transplant, but passed away before reaching her life-long dream of completing her education.  The scholarship was created in her memory, to support other transplant recipients who shared Jessie’s dream of earning a college degree.

Jessie’s family will continue her meaningful legacy at this year’s Jessie’s Day!  The event promises to offer an afternoon of fun, raffles, entertainment and fundraising for this important cause.  Visit for more information and for tickets.

Janice Schwartz-Donahue presented $2,500 scholarships to this year’s recipients in May 2015:

Kevin A. Brighter was admitted to the hospital with two dysplastic nephrotic kidneys just five days after he was born.  At two years old, he received a kidney from his father.  Fifteen years later, Kevin is President and Director of his school’s daily news program, is a member of student council and plays varsity tennis.  He will attend LaSalle University in the fall.

Jacob Thomas Hafer was diagnosed with Hyperplastic Left Heart Syndrome and had a heart transplant when he was seven months old.  Today, Jacob is an active volunteer with Gift of Life and a tour guide at the Daniel Boone Homestead.  Throughout his high school years, Jacob was very active, participating in the golf and track teams and the student ambassador club.  He will attend LaSalle University in the fall.

Lindsay Nicole Truesdale was born two months early and was diagnosed with a dysplastic kidney.  By the time she was fourteen months old, her kidney began to deteriorate.  She was blessed at 2.5 years old when she received the gift of life – a new kidney!  Today, she is healthy and involved with many clubs and extracurricular activities. She has volunteered for the Key Club and Special Olympics, and has helped with school dances and made thanksgiving meals for those in need. She will attend the University of Tampa next year.

Congratulations and good luck to all of the 2015 Jessica Beth Schwartz Memorial Scholarship recipients!

Help the Jessica Beth Schwartz Memorial Scholarship raise money for college-bound transplant recipients by joining Gift of Life at the 13th Annual Jessie’s Day on November 8th at the Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia, PA from 1:00-4:00 PM.  Jessie’s Day is the scholarship’s largest fundraiser, and is an important part of helping make transplant recipients’ college dreams a reality.

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