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Derek Thomas Memorial Scholarship

Derek Thomas Memorial Scholarship


This scholarship was started to raise awareness of the importance of organ donation. The scholarship
recipient must be willing to help coordinate and participate in Organ Donor Awareness Week to be held
next spring.


Honoring Derek Thomas, PJP’s Class of ’98, who passed away on April 3, 2013 waiting for a matching donor and his “gift of life” to arrive. Derek needed a new heart after being diagnosed with dialated cardiomyopathy. His family has honored his memory with this scholarship competition since 2015.


Who is eligible?

All students enrolled for the 2019-2020 academic school year at Pope John Paul II Catholic High School are eligible to participate.


The Application

must be submitted in a sealed envelope marked “Derek Thomas Scholarship” and include the following three pieces: a cover page (explained below), an essay based on an interview with an organ donor or organ recipient AND a flyer to be used during Organ Donor Awareness Week. This flyer can be computer generated or created by hand (drawn, sketched, paint, color pencils, etc). Essays nor flyers should include the entrant’s name.


*The cover page should include the following: “Derek Thomas Memorial Scholarship Competition”, Student’s name, current grade & school, an email or mailing address, and a contact phone number, listing parent(s) who can be reached at the phone number offered.


*The essay, of no more than 700 words, should be based on an interview with an organ donor or organ recipient. Do not include your name in or on the essay page(s). It will address the background of the organ donor or the recipient’s need for transplant as well as how the applicant came to know them.


The essay should also detail the personal opinion of why the applicant was interested in participating in the scholarship contest and how they can use this experience to help raise organ donation awareness.


*The flyer will be 8-1/2” x 11” in size. Again, do not include your name in or on the flyer. To be utilized during PJP’s 2020 Organ Donor Awareness Week, the flyer should highlight the need for organ donors. The flyer will include 1.) information helpful for high school students to understand, 2.) facts about the organ donation process, 3.) how to become an organ donor, as well as 4.) how students can help raise family and community awareness about the importance of organ donation.


The Award

is a $1,000 scholarship in the form of a tuition credit at Pope John Paul II Catholic High School for the student’s 2019-20 school year.


Application Acceptance Period

March 29, 2019 - May 3, 2019. Entries may be submitted ANYTIME during the application period in a sealed envelope.



to submit your entry will be no later than Friday, May 3, 2019 by 2:45 pm at PJP’s school office.



to take place early to mid-May.



announced on May 20, 2019.