Armilda Peterson, an Ozarka College student from Cave City, is among 28 pediatric cancer survivors selected to receive Dennis Jungmeyer Scholarships valued at $2,500 each and awarded by the CARTI Foundation in Little Rock.
Presented annually to current or former CARTI pediatric cancer patients, the scholarships are named in honor of North Little Rock resident Dennis Jungmeyer, a CARTI Foundation Board member and a cancer survivor.
For the past 17 years, Jungmeyer has worked with the Arkansas Automobile Dealers Association and the Independent Insurance Agents of Arkansas to organize the annual CARTI Kids Memorial Golf Classic, the proceeds of which benefit the CARTI Foundation. To date, the tournament has raised more than $1.5 million for the CARTI Kids program.
A graduate of Cave City High School, Peterson was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 18 months. She is enrolled at Ozarka and hopes to one day pursue a career as a rehab counselor.
"As the buds from the spring flowers are about to emerge and burst forth into full blossom, so am I as I move closer to the realization of my dream of becoming a rehab counselor," Peterson wrote in her scholarship essay.
"My obstacles have been numerous this past year," Peterson admitted. "This time they have taken the form of readjusting to daily growth hormone shots and the side-effects of an experimental medicine which seems to continually reoccur with surprises not only for me, but also for my healthcare providers."
"Throughout my cancer experiences, the wonderful staff at CARTI has been nearby, ready to offer counseling and rays of hope as they point toward the future," said Peterson. "CARTI not only helped me to understand my condition and deal with its consequences, but they also provided my instructors at Ozarka with information about all that was happening to me."
"As the curtain to the future is unveiled to me, my steps will be directed toward following the rays of hope dispersed from the beacon of CARTI's lighthouse," wrote Peterson, in the concluding comments of her essay. "When my final destination is reached, my goal is to help others as CARTI has helped me."
Scholarship recipients were honored at a reception held June 18 at the State Capitol Building in Little Rock. Gov. Mike Huckabee and Jungmeyer presented the recipients with their scholarship awards.
CARTI is a nonprofit radiation therapy center with facilities in Little Rock on the St. Vincent, Baptist Medical Center and UAMS campuses, and in Conway, Mountain Home, North Little Rock and Searcy. The CARTI Foundation was incorporated in 1983 as a non-profit organization to assist CARTI in meeting the current and future needs of Arkansas cancer patients and their families.