AXA Achievementsm Announces Scholarship Winners

Scholarships Awarded to Students Passionate about Improving Education, the Environment, Disease Prevention, and Community Outreach

Media Contacts:

Jennifer Recine
(212) 314-2009
Discretion Winter
(212) 314-2968

April 16, 2015

NEW YORK – AXA, a financial protection and retirement industry leader, announced today the 52 recipients of the 2015 AXA AchievementSM Scholarship.  With its focus on risk research and mitigation, AXA seeks to identify and reward students who, through their talent and passion, are driving awareness, discovery and general community outreach in areas such as education, the environment and disease prevention.  

Every year, AXA awards 52 high school seniors – one from each state, plus Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico – college scholarships of $10,000. Of those 52 winners, 10 students are recognized as national winners and receive an additional scholarship award of $15,000. AXA has given more than $25 million in scholarships to more than 6,000 students since the program’s inception in 2003.

“Our winners – known as AXA Achievers – are not only talented and ambitious students, but also exemplary leaders, bringing ingenuity and resourcefulness to areas where innovation is most needed in our society,” said Mark Pearson, director, president and CEO of AXA Financial, Inc. “It’s an honor for us to help these students pursue higher education and continue to be catalysts of change in the world.”

Students’ achievements include a focus on societal problems such as education programs, environmental research, and disease prevention.

Education Programs

  • Evan Gong, Henderson, NV
    After starting a financial literacy campaign in 2014, Evan drafted legislation that will be heard during the 2015 Legislative Session in Carson City, Nevada, requiring age-appropriate financial literacy instruction for grades 6-12.
  • Anvita Gupta, Scottsdale, AZ
    Anvita founded LITAS, an after-school program that teaches middle-school girls computer programming skills, with the goal of increasing the number of women in science, technology, engineering, and math professions.

Environmental Research

  • Matthew Cappucci, Plymouth, MA
    Matthew’s lifelong passion for meteorology inspired his research on waterspouts. This research earned him an invitation from the American Meteorological Association, making Matthew the youngest person ever invited to speak at their national convention.  He is currently the weekday meteorologist for two TV stations on Cape Cod.
  • Valerie Ding, Portland, OR
    Valerie combined her interests in quantum physics and renewable energy to design efficiency-enhancing solar technology through multi-junction quantum-dot solar cells.  Through this project, she hopes to help researchers and engineers develop low-cost, high efficiency solar energy.
  • Elliot Suiter, Johnston, IA
    Elliot designed and built a 400-watt wind turbine and posted his plan online in a step-by-step format.  In 7 weeks, more than 98,000 people accessed the plan, leading to less stress on the environment through wider use of wind energy.
  • Adedayo Gbadamosi, Jackson, NJ
    Adedayo developed a safe, accurate and low-cost way to detect pathogenic bacteria in liquids such as wastewater.  His project aims to prevent thousands of pathogen-based illnesses per year. 
  • Nicholas Hibbeler, Kansas City, MO
    After his personal experience with testicular cancer, Nicholas launched the “CHECK 2” campaign to encourage male athletes to request a testicular examination during their sports physicals.  He also helped coordinate two “Kick-Out Cancer” fundraisers, raising nearly $9,000 for services helping children with cancer.
  • Bryce Badura, Midlothian, VA
    In honor of a childhood friend who is a cancer survivor, Bryce founded and organized an annual charity 5K race called the “Dunkin Donuts Munchkin Run.” Sold-out four years in a row, the run has raised $100,000 for the ASK Childhood Cancer Foundation.
  • Sarah Caldwell, Falmouth, ME
    Since the death of her father from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Sarah has dedicated herself to raising awareness and finding a cure for the disease.  She has raised more than $45,000, met with members of Congress, and wrote a soon-to-be-published memoir detailing her journey with her father’s illness.
  • Kelsey Lantz, Clarksburg, WV
    Having suffered concussions playing soccer, Kelsey launched “Heads-Up Concussion Awareness.”  Using information from the Center for Disease Control, she taught athletes the signs, symptoms, and proper treatment of concussions, raising awareness in her community.

Through AXA Achievement, which encompasses the AXA AchievementSM Scholarship (52 scholarships including the 10 national winners) and the AXA AchievementSM Community Scholarship (up to 375 scholarships), AXA awards more than $1.4 million every year, making AXA one of the nation’s largest corporate providers of scholarships. AXA also offers financial education services to provide comprehensive resources for students and parents planning for college.

About AXA Foundation

The AXA Foundation directs the company's philanthropic and volunteer activities, working to improve the quality of life in communities across the United States where AXA has a presence. The AXA Foundation’s multifaceted signature program, AXA AchievementSM, supports the company’s strong commitment to Corporate Responsibility and AXA Group’s flagship theme of “Risk Research and Education,” by providing America’s youth with access and advice to help them succeed in college and beyond. Since its inception, AXA Achievement has awarded over $25 million in college scholarships to more than 6,000 students, known as AXA Achievers.

For more information go to or AXA's Facebook page.

About AXA

“AXA” is a brand name of AXA Equitable Financial Services, LLC and its family of companies, including AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company (NY,NY), MONY Life Insurance Company of America (AZ stock company, administrative office: Jersey City, NJ), AXA Advisors, LLC, and AXA Distributors, LLC. In business since 1859, AXA is a leading financial protection company and one of the nation’s premier providers of life insurance, annuity, employee benefits and financial products and services distributed to individuals and business owners through its retail distribution channel, AXA Advisors, LLC (member FINRA, SIPC) and to the financial services market through its wholesale distribution channel, AXA Distributors, LLC.

AXA S.A. is a Paris-headquartered holding company for a group of international insurance and financial services companies, including AXA Equitable Financial Services, LLC companies. AXA S.A. is a worldwide leader in financial protection strategies and wealth management with 102 million clients in 56 countries as of December 31, 2013.

The obligations of AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company and MONY Life Insurance Company of America are backed solely by their claims-paying ability.

For more information on AXA Achievement, including a full list of our winners, visit the AXA Foundation website.  Find AXA on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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