What is this
Scholarship all about?»
History of the
criteria and qualifications»
application with instructions»
A SPECIAL YOUNG MAN
is this scholarship all about? It's about remembering and honoring the
memory of a remarkable young man who left this world far too early.
On August 26, 1991, at the age of 16,
Benjamin Milak was diagnosed with leukemia. In
October, after two courses of chemotherapy, Ben was declared to be in
remission. However, a routine bone marrow test in January 1992 showed that he
had suffered a relapse.
Ben underwent several months of
additional treatment at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. His doctors were not
successful in getting Ben back into remission. Ben lost his courageous battle
with leukemia on August 15, 1992.
Ben was an active, outgoing young man. As
a Boy Scout, he attained the rank of Life Scout. Before his illness he
enjoyed biking, camping, and looked forward to skiing. He was a member of his
high school's track team and stage crew. Throughout his young life Ben
aspired to someday work in the field of communication or entertainment.
During his education he received
assistance from the Erie 1 Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES)
Hearing Support Services staff for his hearing loss. Despite his hearing and
his illness, Ben was a successful student and completed his sophomore year of
high school at Kenmore East Senior High School.
An active member of First Trinity
Lutheran Church in Tonawanda, Ben traveled with his youth group to a national
conference held in New Orleans several weeks before his death.
Ben's friendliness, spirit, and faith was an inspiration to family, friends, teachers, medical
staff, and all others who knew him throughout his illness. He always
maintained a sense of optimism about his recovery. He was truly both a
fighter and a believer in life.
This Scholarship was established after
Ben's death to honor his memory and the attributes he displayed during his
HISTORY OF THE SCHOLARSHIP
idea for the Benjamin Milak Scholarship was
conceived in 1993 by several of Ben's former teachers at Erie 1 BOCES,
including Beverly Herstek, Mark and Sydney Sterling
teachers of the hearing impaired, and Mary Vecchio
an audiologist. When approached about the possibility of establishing a
scholarship in her son's name, his mom, Mary Ann Milak-Young,
offered immediate support. A fund was established through the Community
Foundation (formally the Buffalo Foundation) and the first scholarships were
awarded in June of 1994, the year Ben would have graduated from high school.
To date, numerous scholarships have been awarded, with at least one
scholarship awarded for each year since 1994. A scholarship selection
committee composed of five voting member and Ben's mother select annual
recipients. The committee typically awards scholarships between
SCHOLARSHIP CRITERIA AND QUALIFICATIONS
rounded students wishing to apply for this scholarship must:
•Be impacted by a learning disability, hearing impairment or cancer.
•Be graduating in this current school year.
•Have applied to a post-secondary educational program.
•Possess a realistic career goal, one which they are capable of achieving.
•Be community minded.
•Have a respect for the natural world.
•Possess a keen sense of humor, honesty and optimism.
Candidates who qualify must:
•Complete an application and submit it with a copy of an official high school
transcript by February 1.
•Attend a high school in Erie or Niagara County.
•Write an brief essay describing how they feel they
meet the above criteria.
•Present two letters of recommendation from non-family members. One letter must be from a teacher or
guidance counselor familiar with their academic and social achievements.
APPLICATION AND INSTRUCTIONS
application, instructions and scholarship criteria below in adobe *.pdf
or word *.doc format.
Applications must be submitted by: February 1.
Click here to download
in (*.pdf): Application.pdf
here to download the application
in (*.doc): Application.doc
If you have any
questions please e-mail mailto:email@example.com?subject=Question
from Milak Scholarship Web Site
Benjamin Milak Memorial Scholarship
P.O. Box 1518, 5500 North Bailey Avenue
Amherst, New York 14226-1518
"If I had my
choice between a moon walk and the life of a single child who had leukemia, I
would never look upward."
James T. Grace, Jr. MD
Director, Roswell Park Cancer Institute