Tourtellotte High School Student Receives Petit MS Memorial Scholarship


Aug 23, 2011


THOMPSON, Conn. – In June the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter, named Stephanie Vogel to the 2011 Hayley’s Hope and Michaela’s Miracle MS Memorial Scholarship.

Vogel, who lives in Thompson, attended Tourtellotte High School in North Grosvenordale, graduating in June at the top ten percent of her class. Vogel, whose mother, Denise, lives with multiple sclerosis, maintained a straight A average and participated in athletics and church youth group activities while also helping her family with day-to-day chores and activities not ordinarily undertaken by teens.

More than 6,000 Connecticut residents, like Denise, have multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease affecting the central nervous system. Multiple sclerosis generally affects women more than men and is most often diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50. Symptoms can include numbness and tingling in the limbs, difficulties with speech and vision and, in some severe cases, complete paralysis. There is no cure for multiple sclerosis.

Vogel was recognized by the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter, for high achievements in the face of adversity. She was one of several 2011 high school graduates awarded a Hayley’s Hope and Michaela’s Miracle MS Memorial Scholarship. Scholarships are made possible through the Hayley’s Hope and Michaela’s Miracle MS Memorial Fund. The fund was established in 2007 by the Petit family to honor the memory of Jennifer Hawke-Petit, who had MS, and her daughters Hayley and Michaela, who were active with the chapter helping to raise funds to support scientific research for a cure.

In the fall Stephanie will attend the University of Connecticut in Storrs. She plans to pursue a degree in physical therapy – a field of interest since undergoing physical therapy after shoulder surgery when she was 15.

“Throughout high school, Stephanie has maintained her excellent study habits, participated in sports and also worked part-time” said her high school guidance counselor, Janice Hanny. “Behind the scenes, Stephanie was not your typical teen. At home Stephanie took on a more attentive role. She never complained. Stephanie earned the respect of both faculty and her peers.”

The National MS Society scholarship program is offered annually to vocational, technical, or college-bound high school seniors diagnosed with multiple sclerosis or to applicants whose parent has multiple sclerosis. Scholarship applications for the 2012 school year will be available online in October. For more information on MS or for additional information on 2012 MS scholarship criteria, please contact the Connecticut Chapter at 860-913-2550 or visit