Chelmsford High School Alumni Association
Awarding Criteria: Will be awarded to a deserving senior who plans to major in the fine or applied arts, who has shown excellence in the fine or applied arts, ambition, and scholarship outside the arts. Applicants must submit a jpeg of their work of art that exemplifies excellence in the fine or applied arts. Plus, an essay of at least 250 words describing their fine or applied art career goals must be a part of the application.
Katie Bleck was a junior at Chelmsford High School when she developed leukemia in the fall of 1997. Katie’s family and friends admire her for her strength and endless quest to live life with style and grace, while pushing to do her best at every endeavor. Despite treatments and setbacks, Katie never let her uncertain future hold her back during the next four and half years. She always made a plan, and undeterred, headed for the next goal.
Katie was well prepared for what she faced. She was a competitive swimmer and led her CHS swim team in the butterfly. She excelled in her studies including the fine arts and writing. Katie loved little children and taught religious studies to 1st graders at St. Mary’s Church. She was an active Girl Scout throughout grade school and high school with a close group of Girl Scout friends. She loved active family vacations spent skiing, camping and hiking.
Katie set her mind to beat her cancer and continue her life despite her illness. Katie finished her junior and senior years of high school through tutoring provided by her dedicated teachers. She graduated on time and prepared to attend Boston University. However, in August of 2000 she relapsed and then underwent a bone marrow transplant. While confined to home she continued her education by enrolling in on-line courses at UMass Lowell, taking graphic design and art history courses during her recovery. In the fall of 2001, Katie finally entered Boston University’s School of Communication. It was a new start and she left her cancer behind. She excelled in her courses, especially in creative writing. Unfortunately at the start of her second semester she relapsed again. Even faced with the inevitable, Katie did not want to quit school. Through her last weeks, she remained active, visiting friends and family, writing and painting. She passed away in April 2002.
This memorial scholarship for Katie Bleck is awarded to a deserving senior who plans to major in the fine or applied arts and exhibits excellence in both the fine arts and other academics. The Chelmsford High School Girls Swim Team has provided a significant portion of the funds for this scholarship through an annual swimathon, held to honor Katie’s undaunted spirit.