The ALS Association has awarded $225,000 in scholarships to 45 inaugural recipients of the Jane Calmes ALS Scholarship Fund. The Fund provides financial support to students impacted by ALS.
The first cohort of Fund scholars will receive $2,500 each semester for a total of $5,000 per year in support of post-high school education. Awards are renewable for up to three years or until a bachelor’s degree is earned or graduation is achieved.
Mark Calmes, vice-chair of The ALS Association National Board of Trustees, established the fund in honor of his wife Jane, who lived with ALS for eight years until her passing in August 2017.
“Students from families that are dealing with, or have dealt with ALS, are often overlooked and collateral damage to the disease. This damage can negatively impact people for a lifetime,” said Calmes, who has served on the Association board since 2015.
One of those students is Katelyn Hottle, from Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. She received the news of her father’s ALS diagnosis during her senior year of high school – just as she was deciding which college she would choose to attend. However, her father’s diagnosis drastically changed her family’s circumstances. They lost the house they had lived in for over 12 years and had to make financial sacrifices they never had to make before in order to meet the devastating financial burden of ALS.
Katelyn studies nursing at Penn State University.
“While my family wanted me to go to the school I have dreamed of going to, figuring out how to pay for it was – and still is – a nightmare, “Katelyn said.
“I tried my hardest to work every day at my local waitressing job, but it was not enough to cover the tremendous expenses (of college tuition.) This scholarship is truly a blessing and makes our lives so much easier. I express my thanks for supporting my college career and helping to make my dreams come true,” she added.
The inaugural class of Fund scholars hails from 25 different states.
The scholarship program is administered by Scholarship America, an organization that has worked directly with students, parents, colleges, businesses and communities to help students fulfill their college dreams since 1958.
All the students awarded scholarships from the Jane Calmes ALS Scholarship Fund are degree-seeking students who have parents or grandparents living with ALS or whose parents or grandparents passed away from the disease. One recipient is a student who is living with ALS.
To learn more about the Jane Calmes ALS Scholarship Fund, including details and guidelines for applying, please visit alsa.org/CalmesScholarshipFund.