McGowan Leadership Scholarship Award

Cassandra Mendez

2015 McGowan Leadership Scholarship Recipient

Interested to learn what our scholarship recipients have been up to?

We received a lovely note from 2015 scholarship recipient, Cassandra Mendez. Keep reading for an update on Cassandra’s life!

This past May, Cassandra graduated from The Ohio State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science & Engineering with a minor in Mathematics.

She recently reached out to thank NOAH for believing in her, and choosing her as the 2015 recipient of the Michael J. McGowan Leadership Scholarship.

Dear NOAH:

At the time you chose me to be the 2015 scholarship winner, I wasn’t sure if I would make it to college. Due to having HPS, I was barely living, and even when I received the call I was in the hospital. However, through great doctors and nurses, I was able to start two months later. There were times in undergrad that I doubted myself and wondered if I could do it, but through the support of so many, including yourselves and some hard work, I’ve made it to where I am today.

I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for believing in me when I was barely able to stand, literally. Ever since I was a teenager attending national conferences, I felt the love and support of this community the administration has worked so hard to maintain. When writing for Albinism InSight in high school, I saw the value of the internal education to people and families with albinism as well as externally to educators. I am truly humbled you took a chance on me and am grateful you continue doing so for other students like me. Thank you for all you stand for.

Cassandra Mendez

Thanks so much for sharing your success story with us, Cassandra!

Feeling inspired by Cassandra? We sure are!

You could be recognized for your leadership too – all you have to do is apply for the next Michael J. McGowan Leadership Scholarship Award! For more information on current application requirements and deadlines visit