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Two Awarded Rupp Scholarships To Pursue Medical Careers

© Leesburg Today - 07/28/2015

The Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties has announced two scholarships awarded from its Gavin Rupp ""I Promise 15"" Scholarship Fund in its debut year.

The fund was created by the family in memory of Eagle Ridge Middle School student Gavin Rupp, who died of cancer two years ago at age 13 on July 30.

The fund's title refers to the teenager's love of baseball and his No. 15 jersey.

The fund was established to provide scholarships to students pursuing medical training and degrees with a focus on oncology.

""Our entire family is so grateful for the wonderful medical team members that supported Gavin throughout his 30-month battle with cancer,"" Gavin's parents, Chris and Sandy Rupp, said in a statement.

The family intends to award at least one scholarship annually, in the hope that recipients who will one day work with pediatric cancer patients can help many others for years to come.

This year's debut recipients are Tuscarora High School graduate Caroline Nicotra and Loudoun County High School graduate Brianna Jennings.

Nicotra, who plans to attend Virginia Tech, has aspirations to study biological sciences on a pre-med track in oncology. A science lover, she said she also was inspired by a fourth-grade friend who died of cancer.

Jennings will attend Michigan State University on a pre-med track after personal health issues made her aware of the need for physicians with empathy and care.

The scholarship fund has a new benefactor, courtesy of proceeds from the newly published children's book, ""Overwhelming Underdogs,"" written by Jeanne Layman and sold online through Lulu.com.

The book's theme was inspired by Gavin and his thoughtfulness toward others

""It's about a boy who looks up to his best friend whom he describes as having a determined spark in his eyes and an unbeatable will to win,"" the author said.

The Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties has granted more than $3.1 million since its inception in 1999. For more information, go to communityfoundationlf.org or call Executive Director Amy Owen at 703-779-3505.

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