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Suffering from lymphoma at 14, Huntsville woman receives scholarship to pursue college education

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – A Huntsville woman is one of 20 who has been selected for a renewable scholarship.

Halia Morris received the Scholarship America’s Dream Award, a renewable scholarship recognizing individuals with financial need who have overcome significant barriers to get to college.

Morris’ life changed when she was diagnosed with lymphoma at age 14. While being treated at St. Jude’s Hospital in Memphis, she missed basketball, volunteering, and nearly a quarter of the school year. She was determined to catch up… in tough honor classes. That year, she finished with an A average.

Since then, Morris has enrolled at Hampton University in Virginia, where she is studying marine and environmental science. Ultimately, her goal is to become a marine research biologist, focusing on marine ecology, studying how humans affect marine ecosystems, and increasing marine and environmental awareness by inspiring a sustainable lifestyle.

Since its inception in 2014, the Dream Award has been awarded to 150 students, with prizes totaling more than $3.2 million. Challenges recipients have overcome include personal and family illnesses, poverty, neglect, learning disabilities and homelessness.

In addition, 70% of recipients are the first members of their family to attend university, 80% contributed financially to their family’s income, and almost a third served as caregivers while attending university.

The Dream Award ranges from $5,000 to $15,000 at the time it is initially awarded and increases by $1,000 each year to reflect the annual increase in the cost of participation. Applications for the 2023 award will open in August. Anyone 17 and older is welcome to apply, provided they have completed one year of college, business or technical studies. More details on eligibility can be found on the Scholarship America website.


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