Press Release | May 19, 2021

The Austin Hatcher Foundation Joins Cosmic Odyssey Scholarship Program

By Austin Hatcher Foundation
By The Austin Hatcher Foundation
The Austin Hatcher Foundation Joins Cosmic Odyssey Scholarship Program

· Cosmic Odyssey is a scholarship to space camp

· Scholarship is open to any family who has been impacted by pediatric cancer

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (May 19, 2021) – The Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer joins Yuri’s Night and the Huntsville Space Camp to launch the Cosmic Odyssey Scholarship Program.

This scholarship program is aimed at children who have been diagnosed with pediatric cancer and their families. Patients, survivors, and their families can apply for a chance to take a special trip to a Family Space Camp on July 2-4, 2021 or August 13-15, 2021.

This U.S. Space and Rocket Center Space Camp in Huntsville, AL offers pediatric cancer patients the opportunity to explore space during this weekend-long Family Space Camp. The goal of this camp is to encourage children in their journey through pediatric cancer and offer the opportunity of “out-of-this-world” experiences for them and their families.

“Children should always be encouraged to dream out loud, to vocalize who it is they want to be and what it is they want to do,” said Space Camp Hall of Fame member, Tara Sweeney. “The Cosmic Odyssey Scholarship Program will let our brave and resilient pediatric cancer patients, survivors, and their families dream out loud together during a wicked awesome weekend at Space Camp.”

The Austin Hatcher Foundation became involved with this program through its creator, former AHF patient Niko

Blanks. Blanks was treated at the foundation after receiving a diagnosis of a Grade II Fibrillary Astrocytoma, which is an inoperable brain tumor. Following successful treatment, Niko was able to focus more on his passion for space. His first step toward learning more about space and fueling this passion was to attend Space Camp in Huntsville, AL.

Blanks now attends Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and is determined to showcase the reason for his passion to children and families that have been impacted by pediatric cancer in a similar way to his own experience.

“I am so excited that through the Cosmic Odyssey Scholarship, we will be inspiring these amazing kids,” said Niko Blanks. “We want to make sure they know that they can achieve their dreams no matter what challenges they face.”

Along with the Austin Hatcher Foundation, the Cosmic Odyssey Scholarship Program is supported by Yuri’s Night. All donations raised through Yuri’s Night will go directly toward funding the families’ trips to Space Camp.

“Yuri’s Night is proud to be supporting this new scholarship that is sending families affected by pediatric cancer to U.S. Space Camp,” said Yuri’s Night Executive Director, Tim Bailey. “Niko’s story shows how space can bring out the best in humanity! We have been inspired by his passion for this project and his drive to pay it forward by giving others the opportunity to live out their dreams.”

Families impacted by pediatric cancer are encouraged to apply for the Cosmic Odyssey Scholarship at Children must be 7 years or older to attend. All applications must be submitted by May 31, 2021 at 5 p.m.

To donate to the Cosmic Odyssey Scholarship Program, visit All donations will go directly to fund a family’s trip to Space Camp.

Those interested in learning more about the Cosmic Odyssey Scholarship before applying may contact Paige Holloway, Austin Hatcher Foundation Marketing and Events Coordinator, at