The Inspire Scholarship, which began in 2012, has awarded $465,000 to childhood cancer survivors in the northern Nevada region. In 2019, the program awarded a scholarship to 23 young adults pursuing higher education, vocational, or technical training. The Inspire Scholarship program has encouraged the community’s youngest cancer survivors to follow their dreams and become the strong and educated young men and women of our future generation.

Since the initial launch eight years ago, the Inspire Scholarship has helped with career dreams of applicants to become nurses, pilots, architects, beauticians, and much more. The Inspire Scholarship helps young adults who are currently in the fight, or who battled childhood cancer as a child, to see beyond their diagnosis and into the world of limitless possibilities.

Victoria Matthews, a recent Inspire applicant and childhood cancer survivor, wants to do more for the community now that she is cancer-free. Her ultimate goal is to become a pediatric hematologist-oncologist, and her cancer journey only solidified her dreams to help other kids just like her. In November of 2015, Victoria was diagnosed with cancer and immediately began a nine-month chemotherapy regimen, which took a toll not only on her body but her mind. “I would say that my greatest need before, during, and after cancer has been emotional support,” Victoria said.

The Inspire Scholarship provides emotional and financial support for young adults like Victoria who have been through serious physical, emotional, and financial challenges that may arise during the duration of their treatment process. Victoria’s aggressive chemo schedule forced her to take time away from school to focus on her treatment. She felt she could no longer live a normal teenage life because she missed out on everything due to her diagnosis.

Victoria’s battle with childhood cancer was one of the toughest times in her life, but she continued to fight so she could spend the rest of her life inspiring those around her. When she was just five-years-old, Victoria knew she wanted to be a doctor, and her cancer diagnosis only motivated her further to achieve her dreams. “I just really want to help kids,” Victoria said. “It’s something kids shouldn’t have to go through, but if I can help them, even just a little bit and be the kind of hero my doctors and nurses have been for me, that’s my goal.”

Victoria’s cancer journey taught her to appreciate life and never take anything for granted. She is currently studying cellular and molecular biology at the University of Nevada, Reno to accomplish her aspiration of becoming a pediatric oncologist.

From the moment of a child’s diagnosis, NNCCF works with the family to meet their needs. This can range from financial support for medical bills, travel to and from treatment, and educational support through the Inspire Scholarship or E-SMART programs. The Inspire Scholarship ensures that the child never gives up hope for a bright future.

The 2020 Inspire Scholarship application deadline is right around the corner, and all applications are due May 8, 2020. Young adults are encouraged to apply for the scholarship if they meet the criteria below:

  • Must be in treatment or a survivor of childhood cancer
  • Must be between the ages of 15 and 25 years old
  • Must be a current resident of northern Nevada or previously enrolled in an NNCCF program
  • Must be accepted into an accredited university, community college, vocational, or technical school


Article By:
Allison Kibbe, NNCCF Marketing Intern