BRIDGEWATER, NJ - For the past decade, the Making Headway Foundation has awarded college scholarships to survivors of a childhood brain or spinal cord tumor, and this fall, the award-winning non-profit organization has included Bridgewater-Raritan High School graduate Emily Ousouljoglou as one of its 14 recipients.

Ousouljoglou is a graduate of Bridgewater-Raritan High School, class of 2016. She participates in a number of extra-curricular activities at Maryknol University, including the American Cancer Society Relay for Life, Social Work Club, Student Staff Assistance for the BRIDGE program, Marywood Fundraising Phone-a-thon and as a planning committee member of the Dinner for Kids Benefit.

This fall, Ousouljoglou is returning to Marywood University, with plans to major in social work.

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Ousouljoglou was diagnosed with a madullablastoma at age 4. This category of tumor is one of many types of pediatric brain and spinal cord tumors, also known and Central Nervous System (CNS) tumors.

Pediatric CNS tumors are more common than any other type of childhood cancer and cause more deaths than any other childhood disease. Thousands of children in the U.S. receive this diagnosis each year, changing their lives and the lives of their families forever.

Ousouljoglou wrote in her scholarship application, "Choosing the field of social work as my chosen profession is directly the result of my being a brain tumor survivor. Having gone through the treatments and subsequent follow-ups and struggles that I faced, and seeing how the social workers helped my family and me deal with these issues, made me want to do the same thing for others in similar situations."

"I have found Emily to be a dedicated, compassionate, and committed person in all aspects of her schoolwork and life," said Lea Doughterty, MSW, of Marywood University. "She works hard to accomplish things and strives to continue to better herself on many levels."

Since 1996, the Making Headway Foundation has been supporting families of children diagnosed with brain or spinal cord tumors. During this time, the organization has helped thousands of families through unimaginably difficult times, providing a wide range of holistic programs and services. 

The Making Headway Foundation’s mission has been to provide care and comfort for children with brain and spinal cord tumors, while funding medical research geared to better treatments and a cure. Today, Making Headway continues their our unique work, offering a continuum of services that includes individual counseling, educational advocacy, in-hospital quality-of-life programs, fun family events, medical research grants, facilitating clinical trials, neuro-oncology fellowships, college scholarships, and so much more. In 2018, Making Headway expanded thier scholarship program to include significantly more winners than any previous year. Making Headway funded 12 of the scholarships, with the Scott J. Reisser Fund providing funding for two more. The Scott J. Reisser Memorial Scholarship Fund was established by Fritz and Joanne Reisser to honor the memory of their 22-year-old son, who succumbed to a brain tumor just short of achieving his dream of college graduation.

To learn more about Making Headway, or to support their mission, contact them at www.MakingHeadway.org or 914-238-8384.