AXA, a financial services company, recently announced the 52 student winners of the 2016 AXA Achievement Scholarship, one from each of the 50 states in the United States plus Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. The $10,000 scholarship, given to high school seniors, recognizes their proven leadership skills and commitment to making positive contributions to society.
Ten of the awardees were further honored for exceptional work, being named national scholarship winners and given an additional $15,000 prize. Among these recipients is Sophia Lee, of Wexford, Pennsylvania, recognized for her research work on mesothelioma.
Lee identified a mutation that may be present in mesothelioma cancer cells, and could be used for early detection and treatment of this cancer. She is the lead author of an article based on the study, to be published in the Journal of Pathology Informatics.
“We are honored to recognize these students and celebrate the contributions they have made through their extraordinary achievements,” Mark Pearson, director, president and CEO of AXA Financial, said in a recent press release. “This year’s AXA Achievers are remarkable young people whose drive and initiative to solve problems inspires them to innovate and create positive change, and we are proud to help make college a reality for the next generation of leaders.”
Areas of achievement acknowledged by the awards include education programs, community outreach, environmental research, and health innovations and disease prevention.
AXA has awarded more than $25 million in university scholarships to over 6,000 high school students since the program began in 2003.
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that develops in the thin layer of tissue that covers many internal organs, known as the mesothelium. The most common area affected is the lining of the lungs and chest wall, but the lining of the abdomen and, more rarely, the sacs that surround the heart and the testis may also be affected. More than 80 percent of mesothelioma cases are caused by exposure to asbestos.