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Kyle O'Connell Memorial Scholarship Fund

The Kyle O'Connell memorial scholarship was created in honor of Kyle O'Connell, the son of Michael '87 and Julie '88 (Belfiore) O'Connell. On February 6, 2005, Kyle passed away just shy of his 10th birthday. Kyle's brave fight against brain cancer inspired a group of USD alumni to create this scholarship. The purpose of this scholarship is to inspire students through Kyle's story of courage, determination and spirit to improve treatments or find a cure for cancer, to provide comfort and hope for patients and their families who are struggling with terminal illness and to be advocates motivating others to become active in the fight against cancer. It will benefit graduate and/or undergraduate junior or senior students enrolled in the sciences or healing arts including nursing, marriage and family therapy.

Continue the fight against cancer by supporting USD students through the Kyle O'Connell Memorial Scholarship.

Meet the 2014-2015 Kyle O'Connell Scholars

Jacqueline Jones '15

Jacqueline Jones is majoring in Biochemistry with a minor in Business Administration. She is a member of the Associated Students Honor Council and was the founder and president of the USD Women’s Club Water Polo Team. She received the USD Bridges Program Award through the USD Chemistry and Biochemistry Department. Her goal is to earn a doctoral degree in chemistry, and then work in research and development to find a cure for cancer.

She said, “Thank you for awarding me the Kyle O'Connell Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship means a lot to my family and me in finishing my undergraduate education at USD. I am hoping to make the most out of my final year at USD. I am proud to be a representative of this scholarship and the fight against cancer. It has always been my goal to make a difference in the world and help others through science and medicine. I hope I can use my skills and passion to contribute to finding a cure for cancer.”

Magdalene Wilhelm '15

Maggie Wilhelm is entering her third year in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program. She is passionate about her future career in counseling! She hopes that through her career, she will be able to make a difference in many lives.  

She said, “I am so grateful for this scholarship!  Through the generosity of these donors, I will reach my goals of becoming a Licensed Clinical Counselor, and working with patients and families who are living with cancer. While this disease takes a terrible toll, there is hope, and as a therapist, I want to share this hope and comfort with my patients and their families. I know that Kyle's courage, determination, and spirit lives on and helps change lives.”