Helping Students Find a Purpose

After the death of his grandmother in 2011 due to cancer that went undiagnosed, Tristen Caudle became an avid volunteer for the American Cancer Society.

“Too many of my loved ones have been hurt by cancer for me to sit by and not do my part. The fight against cancer is something that is important for me and the experience of volunteering with the American Cancer Society has given me a vision for my career. It helped me learn what I want to do and who I want to help.”

Thanks to scholarship fundholders at Truman Heartland, Tristen is making his vision a reality.

A Raytown native, Tristen lead the Relay For Life of Raytown and served on Truman Heartland’s Youth Advisory Council (YAC) at Raytown High School. His dedication to philanthropy earned him multiple scholarship awards from Truman Heartland, including the Elizabeth Hill McClure Scholarship from THCF, an award designated for senior YAC members.

“The scholarships from Truman Heartland allowed me to focus on school, allowed me to be a better volunteer for the American Cancer Society and dedicate time for myself and the things I was interested in.”

In 2017, Tristen completed his undergraduate program in economics at the University of Missouri – Kansas City (UMKC). Graduating in just three years with both university and departmental honors, Tristen continued his studies at UMKC and in December 2018, received a master’s degree in economics.

Now an Associate Economist at Spectrum Economics in Kansas City, Tristen is using innovative technology to translate medical and financial data into meaningful insights for law firms. Tristen hopes this research will improve health at a broader level and help people gain better access to cancer screenings, education and resources.

As a scholarship recipient, Tristen values not only the financial support that THCF provided, but also the opportunity to connect with scholarship fundholders.

“Outside of the financial benefits, the scholarship brought a rewarding and valuable relationship. That relationship has helped me develop more holistically. That mentorship and the intangible value of a scholarship, has made a big difference in my life and allowed me to be a better student and a better person.”

Currently on the board of directors for the Youth Volunteer Corps and the chair of American Cancer Society’s National Campus Leadership Team, Tristen is paying it forward. He works with students across the nation to develop strategies and programs that enhance service-learning opportunities and engage youth volunteers in the fight against cancer.

“If someone is on the fence about starting a scholarship, my advice would be do it. An investment in a student is a big opportunity. The impact that you can have in their lives is immeasurable.”

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