2016 Scholarship Recipient Press Release

For Immediate Release
Media Contact:

Karen Hart                                                                                              [email protected]
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Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation Celebrates 14 Years of Providing Educational Hope with College Scholarships for Cancer Patients and Survivors

Eight cancer survivors in New York, New Jersey, and Florida awarded scholarships

New York (June 21, 2016) -The Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation is pleased to announce the 2016 recipients of its annual college scholarships for cancer patients and survivors. These scholarships were established to offer hope beyond cancer, providing financial support so cancer patients and survivors can attend college and live out their dreams. This year 8 young men and women were selected and each will receive $1,500, renewable for up to an accumulative $6,000 over four years. To qualify, applicants must be residents of North Florida, South Georgia, the five boroughs of New York City, or Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Passaic and Union counties in New Jersey and have been diagnosed with cancer before the age of 21. Winners are chosen based on leadership ability, academic record, moral character, and financial need.

“Cancer should never stand between a patient or a survivor’s dreams and the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation is proud to be able to help these courageous young men and women take a step closer to making them a reality,” said Tom Coughlin. “I hope the winners of this year’s scholarships follow their dreams with the same determination that they tackled cancer.”

Since 2002 the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation has awarded 44 scholarships totaling $293,000 to cancer survivors in New York, New Jersey, and North Florida.

This year’s winners are:

Visa, Inc. Scholarship Recipient

Luis Aguilar attended Long Island City High School and is currently a freshman at Brooklyn College where he is majoring in physical education.  Luis is currently undergoing treatment for T-cell Leukemia/Lymphoma while maintaining a full academic course load. He loves sports and is an avid soccer player. Dr. Alexandro Aledo, Director of Pediatric Oncology at Weill Cornell Medicine wrote a letter of recommendation calling Luis “courageous”.  Luis wrote in his essay about his love of physical education, “I want to be able to reach out to other students and help them reach their dreams and goals.”

Bisginano Family Scholarship Recipient

Brianna Bove is a graduating senior at New Dorp High School in Staten Island, NY where she maintained a 3.7 GPA.  Brianna was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in 2011 and suffered a relapse in 2015 which required a bone marrow transplant. In the fall, Brianna will attend Wagner University where she plans to study nursing. “This scholarship shows hope financially and emotionally. . . .there is more to life and [cancer] is just a bump in the road.”

Tisch Family Scholarship Recipient

Amber Ferrante is a graduating senior at Union County Vocational High School. Amber was diagnosed with Leukemia (ALL) in 2007. Today she is cancer free and will attend Rowan University in the fall, the first in her family’s generation to attend college.  Amber will study elementary school education and aspires to be a special education teacher.  Amber wrote in her essay, “I find an immense amount of joy in assisting others, and it is truly a rewarding experience.”

The Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation Scholarship Recipient

Peyton Leigh Johnson was diagnosed with Juvenile Pilocytic Astrocytoma in February 2013.  Peyton graduated from Baker County High School with a 3.67 GPA while dually enrolled at Florida Gateway College. She is a member of the National Beta Club, as well as President of Future Business Leaders of America.  Peyton attends Florida State College in Jacksonville, FL where she is studying human growth and development.

Viniar Family Scholarship Recipient

Brian Moran is a senior at Indian Hills High School in New Jersey where he has maintained a 4.07 GPA, while being on the varsity volleyball team and president of the student council. Brian was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia in 2001. Brian plans to attend Loyola University in the fall and hopes to one day be a teacher.  Brian wrote in his essay, “The main goal that I have for myself is to make a difference in the world. . .whether it is a large impact or even a small impact.”

New York Football Giants Scholarship Recipient

Daniel Nachum is a senior at Tenafly High School and has maintained a 4.1 GPA.  David will graduate with the highest of honors and will attend Northeastern University in the fall.  David was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in 2001. David had the opportunity to participate in an Eagle Scout project with Hackensack University Medical Center and wrote in his essay, “Personally, while I never want cancer to define who I am, I never want to forget how lucky I am to be a survivor.”

Scharf Family Scholarship Recipient

Jessica Scott is a freshman at Kean University where she has earned a 4.0 GPA and is studying psychology. Jessica was diagnosed with Leukemia in 2014 when she was a senior at Lacordarie Academy in New Jersey where she was captain of her volleyball team, a school ambassador and an active participant in the school’s black history club.  Jessica is excited about giving back to her community and working in her chosen field. Jessica wrote in her essay, “After having experienced my battle with cancer and seeing all the many helping hands needed to help heal, I know there is a place for me.”

Commander Rick Murray Memorial Scholarship Recipient

Sierra “August” Williams was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia in April 2009.  August graduated Salutatorian at Brantley County High School with a 4.0 GPA. She is as smart as she is athletic.  August is the recipient of a Merit Scholar Award, played on soccer, and still found time to give back, receiving an Outstanding Community Service Award for serving 746 community hours in just three years.  August will attend the University of Georgia where she will study computer animation.

If you are interested in sponsoring a survivor scholarship or donating to the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation, please visit www.tcjayfund.org to learn more.



About The Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation
The Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation was created in 1996 in honor of Jay McGillis. Jay developed leukemia while playing for Coach Coughlin at Boston College. In the eight months between Jay’s diagnosis and the day he lost his battle with cancer, the Coughlin family saw first-hand the physical, emotional and financial strains the illness caused the McGillis Family. Coach Coughlin vowed, if he ever had the chance, he would create a way to help families with children tackling cancer.


OUR MISSION is to help families tackle childhood cancer by providing comprehensive financial, emotional and practical support. From diagnosis to recovery and beyond, we are part of the team, allowing parents to solely focus on their child’s well-being. Our goal is to BE THERE for parents facing the unthinkable so they can be there for their families.