SALT LAKE CITY — The American Cancer Society is giving 21 young Utahns a jump-start in college, with a $2,500 scholarship.

Each of the recipients, who are from communities throughout the state, were diagnosed with cancer prior to age 21, maintained a GPA of 2.5 or greater, and have already been accepted to an accredited school. The American Cancer Society awarded the money because it believes the financial impact of a cancer diagnosis is far-reaching, often putting higher education out of reach.

The purpose of the scholarship program is to help the patients and their families overcome the financial burden of cancer. For more information about the program, call the American Cancer Society, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit www.cancer.org.

Recipients of the 2012 award include:

Rachel Adams, of American Fork; Paige Anderson, of Providence; Skyler Call, of Kaysville; Michelle Carlin, of West Haven; Allyson Duce, of Magna; Rachel Fischer, of Springville; Leesa Harvey, of West Valley City; Jessica Hulet, of Cedar City; Kevin Livingston, of Salt Lake City; Lisa Ly, of West Valley City; Tiffanie McLean, of Lindon; Troy Ogilvie, of St. George; Brandy Phillips, of Santa Clara; Nathan Powell, of South Jordan; Elizabeth Quigley, of Kaysville; Megan Rudd, of Woods Cross; Brooklyn Sherman, of Price; Madison Stark, of Park City; Rachel Steele, of Orem; Lynden Turner, of Salt Lake City; and Austin Westley, of Sandy.