Scholarships available to seniors whose lives have been affected by prescription drug abuse

Application deadline is Jan. 28, 2015

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 28, 2014) — A pair of $1,500 college scholarships are available to graduating high school seniors whose lives have been impacted by prescription drug abuse.

Created in 2013, the “Sarah Shay and Michael Donta Memorial Scholarship for Hope and Healing” is in memory of 19-year-old Sarah Shay, of Morehead, and 24-year-old Michael Donta, of Ashland. Shay died of a prescription drug overdose in 2006. Donta lost his battle with prescription painkiller abuse in 2010.

Sarah and Michael’s parents, Dr. Karen Shay and Mike Donta, now travel across Kentucky with Attorney General Jack Conway to help educate middle and high school students about the dangers of prescription drug abuse.

Additionally, the public may now make online, tax-deductible donations to the scholarship fund through the Office of the Attorney General’s website.

“Last year, my office received dozens of scholarship applications from students all across Kentucky,” Conway said. “Many of the students shared stories about how a close family member or friend ended up in jail or died because of prescription drug abuse.  Some students even shared their own struggles with prescription drugs. Yet, despite dealing firsthand with the effects of drug abuse and addiction, these students also shared stories of hope and how they’ve excelled in their personal and academic endeavors. This scholarship program is a wonderful opportunity for teenagers impacted by prescription drug abuse to realize there is always hope, and I’m proud that this money will be used once again to benefit two young people who have embraced a positive lifestyle for themselves and their families.”

One “Sarah Shay Memorial Scholarship” and one “Michael Donta Memorial Scholarship” will be awarded each year to a graduating high school female and male.

Scholarship applications need to be submitted by Jan. 28, 2015. Recipients will be announced in May.