Jessica Beth Schwartz Scholarship Fund
A scholarship, celebrating the memory of Jessica Beth Schwartz, for college bound transplant recipients.
Jessica Beth Schwartz experienced 8½ additional years of life thanks to the gift of organ donation. Jessica’s family and friends continue to honor her memory with a scholarship fund, available to college-bound transplant recipients.
Jessica received a heart transplant and always stayed focused on her goal of college education. This fund supports others who share that dream. It awards $2,500 annually to a transplant recipient who is a senior in high school, or is enrolled in a 2- or 4-year college, university or trade/technical school.
Funds for the scholarship have been raised through the annual event Jessie’s Day – Give the Gift of Scholarship that celebrated its 17th anniversary in 2019. Donations to help support the scholarships can be made online here.
Students who apply must meet the following criteria:
- Be an organ transplant recipient
- Be a senior in high school or currently enrolled in a 2- or 4-year college, university, or trade/technical school
- Reside in the eastern half of Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey or Delaware
- Be under the age of 25
- Must use the funds for education at an accredited college, university, or trade/technical school certificate during the current academic year
How to apply
- Write a short essay (200 words or less) that describes an educational initiative to promote organ and tissue donation and transplantation awareness to high school students
- Write a personal statement (500 words or less) summarizing your transplant story and extracurricular and/or volunteer activities
- Provide two letters of reference from a non-relative (eg. from your transplant center)
- Provide current transcript and/or acceptance letter from your college, university, or trade/technical school
2020 Scholarship Winners
Justine Applegate- Manchester, NJ
At age twelve, Justine was diagnosed with Primary Pulmonary Hypertension. When she was fifteen years old, Justine received her first lung transplant. Two years later Justine began school at Montclair State University, but started to experience symptoms again. Justine’s oxygen rates had dropped and she had to be placed in a medically-induced coma. She then had to work hard and push past a collection of obstacles to teach herself to breathe, walk and eat on her own again. In August of 2019, Justine received her second lung transplant at The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. She now plans on going back to school.
“I had to find myself all over again. Re-imagining who I was going to be, what my dreams and aspirations were going to be.”
Justine plans on continuing her education in social work and child advocacy.
Jennifer Dunlea- Philadelphia, PA
Jennifer was born with Cystic Fibrosis. Jennifer and her family moved to Philadelphia for the best medical care, and she received a bilateral lung transplant in 2015. In the five years since her transplant, Jennifer has been a passionate ambassador for the power of organ donation. She established an after-school initiative to educate her peers on both Cystic Fibrosis and organ donation. She graduated from Harriton High School.
“My peers needed to understand the significance that if something awful happens, organ donation is the best way to continue a legacy”
Jennifer plans to attend San Diego State University.
Jackson Heller- Lafayette, NJ
Jackson was diagnosed with Biliary Atresia at the age of two. He received his life-saving liver transplant in February of 2004. Jackson has now gone on to be the captain of his school’s soccer team, and encourages his friends to register as organ donors. He honors his donor by sharing his story and hosts an annual charity golf tournament to raise funds and awareness for Gift of Life. He graduated from Newton High School.
“I pledge everyday that I let people know about my story so that in the future, unfortunate kids such as myself will receive the same blessing and miracle that I did fifteen years ago.
Jackson plans to attend West Virginia University.