Mayfield graduate earns $3,000 scholarship

King honored by Richie’s Spirit Foundation

HFM BOCES digital multimedia student Anna King, right, from Mayfield High School receives the outstanding professional student award during the Career and Technical Center Student Recognition Program on June 19 at Gloversville Middle School. King recently was announced as the first place winner of RichieÕs Spirit Foundation Significant Challenge College Scholarship and will be rewarded a $3,000 prize. (The Leader-Herald/Ashley Onyon)

MAYFIELD — Recent Mayfield High School graduate, Anna King, was announced the first place winner of Richie’s Spirit Foundation Significant Challenge College Scholarship and will be awarded a $3,000 prize.

According to a press release, King is the winner of the 10th annual scholarship.

The $3,000 prize King is set to receive will go towards her studies at a college of her choice this fall.

The Richie’s Spirit Foundation Significant College Scholarship is named after Richie Herskowitz who is the youngest cystic fibrosis patient to receive a double-lung transplant. According to the Richie’s Spirit Foundation website, Herskowitz died in October 2007 of cystic fibrosis related causes. He was just short of finishing his senior year of high school. The site states that “Richie lived his life with a positive spirit no matter what obstacles got in his way.”

The scholarship is awarded to a graduating high school senior who demonstrates leadership, character, initiative in school and community affairs and merit academic achievement. Out of 1,600 applicants, King was selected as the first place winner by a panel of judges from around the world.

When King was 12 years old she was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy, which is a heart disease that prevents the heart from pumping effectively.

Two years after her diagnosis, King received a life-saving heart transplant. In her award winning essay, King wrote that “people often remark they could never survive a situation like mine, but they’re wrong. There’s no other option. When waters rise, you either swim or drown, which is no choice at all.”

According to the release, King became an “accidental” advocate of organ donation as she found internet fame when she released her popular parody video of Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep.” This attention led to speaking engagements across the US for the American Heart Association and Donate Life America, inspiring others to be an advocate for organ donation and positive thinking.

King’s high school drama teacher said in the press release that King “is so much more than a transplant survivor. It shapes her story, but doesn’t define her. She places immense value on the respect of her mentors, seeking to accomplish her goals and be the best version of herself she can be.”