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Gram’s scholarship made the News!!
Germantown grad wins scholarship for being tobacco-free
Teen has spent years urging friends and family to stop smoking, or to not start
Finally, someone is listening.
Nolasco-Sardino, 18, of Germantown was awarded the Elizabeth Ann “Libby” Frist Memorial Scholarship by Gram’s Promise, an organization that promotes tobacco-free lifestyles, primarily among children.
She was one of six recipients out of about 35 applicants.
The scholarship is awarded to students who demonstrate an understanding of the dangerous consequences of using tobacco and who have actively set a positive example for others.
Growing up in a household of smokers, Nolasco-Sardino said she has seen first-hand the effects of second-hand smoke.
“I get dizzy, and I get stomach aches,” she said. “It’s just something that I really don’t like.”
Her mother, stepfather and most male members of her family smoke.
She has encouraged her mother to stop smoking. Her mother has tried to quit, but has not been able to kick the habit, Nolasco-Sardino said.
“I guess that is where the addiction comes in,” she said.
Her grandfather died of lung cancer when she was 7 years old.
She hopes she can help people understand that smoking has negative social effects, as well as detrimental health effects.
In eighth grade, she spoke to elementary school classes with D.A.R.E. volunteers.
When big events approached in high school, such as dances or vacations, she got a group of friends together and they handed out brochures on tobacco awareness and made posters.
Gram’s Promise wants to recognize young people like Nolasco-Sardino who spread the message of not smoking.
The Frist scholarship carries on a message from Libby Frist, who died of lung cancer and wanted others to know of the dangers of smoking, said Frist’s sister, Mary Votta, a board member for Gram’s Promise.
“My sister’s wish to encourage anti-tobacco lifestyles lives on through the scholarship and lives on through young people like Jessie,” Votta said.
Nolasco-Sardino said she wanted to try to help her peers realize there are many positive ways they can spend their time.
“If you are smoking and doing drugs you aren’t taking care of yourself and your health,” she said. “ If you are healthy, you can go far you can achieve your dreams.”
Nolasco-Sardino will attend St. Mary’s College of Maryland in the fall. She plans to study psychology.