Meet the 2019 Scholars

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

Francesca W.

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?"

At the start of my college career, one of my closest friends left for Indianapolis, eager to join the class of 2021 at the U.S. Naval Academy. Later in the semester, he sent a picture of the Chief Tecumseh statue, freshly decorated in preparation for the Army-Navy football game. A quote was splashed across the baseboard in bright yellow paint, reading, “tough times never last, but tough people do,” by Robert H. Schuller. As a cystic fibrosis patient and hopeful college graduate, this motto instantly became my mantra. CF has taught me that there is no such thing as normal, and if anyone knows the true definition of chaos, it’s me. I am faced with balancing my academics, health, and social life as I pursue a biochemistry degree, in the hopes of attending Louisiana State University’s School of Medicine in 2021. With just eight words, Schuller addresses the characteristics necessary for success. Tough situations are inevitable, but only the ambitious and hard-working prevail. Navigating the medical field to accommodate for my health is a challenge that I am willing to endure. I intend to provide as much care to my patients as my physicians have given me. Soon after receiving Schuller’s quote, I began to run, an activity I’ve always dreaded. Three years later, I find myself 25 pounds heavier, possessing leg muscles I never knew existed, with a lung function of ninety-nine percent, and on the fast track to graduating summa cum laude (GPA 4.0) from Louisiana Tech University.

Francesca W.'s Artwork

Francesca W.'s Achievements

  • Lambda Sigma National Honor Society: Public Relations chairholder (2018-2019) and published writer for the 2019 spring edition of their national newsletter, "The Diamond."
  • Louisiana Tech University: student recruiter (2017-2019) and chemistry laboratory assistant (2019)
  • Camp Ozark: art teacher/counselor (summer 2018)
  • Alpha Epsilon Delta pre-medicine society: club member (2017-present)
  • TriBeta National Biological Honor Society: club member (2018-present)
  • College Diabetes Network: club member (2018-present)
  • Louisiana Tech Intramural Dodge ball: team member (2018)
  • Volunteer general chemistry tutor: Cedar Creek High School and Louisiana Tech University (2018-present)
  • Mauli Ola Foundation national art contest winner (2016)
  • Entrepreneur: commission artist (2017-present)