Meet the 2019 Scholars

Get to know the hopes, dreams, and talents of this year's winners.

Caitlyn H.

Undergraduate Recipient

"Choose one inspirational quote or motto that has helped you throughout your journey with cystic fibrosis. How do you live by your quote or motto and how has it motivated you to accomplish your goals?"

Each individual with cystic fibrosis has their own obstacles and challenges they face that write their story. Cystic fibrosis advocate, Jerry Cahill, uses “You Cannot Fail” as a motto to empower others to continue fighting trials and tribulations. Since I first encountered Cahill’s motto, I have realized that when it seems there are failures, there are actually small victories. Competing in rodeos and running are two of my favorite hobbies that have continuously tested my ability to persevere. At the age of eleven, I was told I should give up horseback riding because a doctor feared that I would get injured. With the approval from my cystic fibrosis physician I continued riding and worked to develop a strong bond with my horse, so I could continue chasing my rodeo queen dreams. I competed two times before winning my first rodeo queen title. The first two times I competed I did not lose because I gained knowledge, friendships, and was exercising to keep my body healthy. Since the seventh grade I have participated in cross country and numerous road races. I had never gone farther than 10K, but in March I had the perfect opportunity to complete my first half marathon. At times I felt weak, both mentally and physically. I kept telling myself that even if I did not reach my intended goal time, that I did not fail because crossing the finish line was my biggest accomplishment to date. Like Oprah Winfrey, “I don’t believe in failure”.

Caitlyn H.'s Artwork

Caitlyn H.'s Achievements

  • Michigan State University Rodeo Club member, helped plan and run an IPRA award-winning rodeo, 2018-current, 2019-2020 Club Co-Chair.
  • Michigan State University Stars for Make-A-Wish, raise money for Michigan's Make-A-Wish Foundation, 2018-current, 2019-2020 Club Secretary.
  • Michigan State University Running Club, competed in cross country races including NIRCA Nationals, 2018-current.
  • MediLodge of Campus Area Activities Assistant, volunteered two semesters at a nursing home helping with daily activities for the residents to socialize, 2018-2019.
  • Miss UP Rodeo 2018, promoted the UP Championship Rodeo, the sport of rodeo, and the western heritage in the state of Michigan and around the Midwest.
  • 4-H Leader for Techchangers project (National partnership with Microsoft) and Midnight Riders Horse Club, 2018-current.
  • 4-H Member, plan community service projects, show hogs, dairy, and horses in Youth Council, When Pigs Fly, and Midnight Riders 4-H Clubs. President 2015-2017.
  • Dean's List, Bay De Noc Community College and Michigan State University, 2016-2019.
  • College Tutor for Chemistry, American Government, Sociology, Psychology, and English courses, 2017-2018.
  • 2018 Outstanding Student Athlete, Bay De Noc Community College.