Meet the 2019 Scholars

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

Kristy O.

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?"

I have always taken great pride in being perceived as a positive, optimistic person. And that I absolutely am. I take great pleasure in being told that I am a "breath of fresh air" or a "ray of sunshine," because I can see how much my outlook and a simple smile positively affects not only myself, but even the people around me. It was when my battle against CF started to reach its peak in middle school, and I was searching for new ways to cope and take control back into my own hands that I adopted the motto, "The Sun is Always Shining Somewhere." While there are many aspects of my disease that I cannot control, I can control my thoughts, overall outlook, values and actions. It is my active decision to never let things I cannot control, like fear, sadness or impending doom bring me down; there is simply no use. Instead, I am fueled by a realistic sense of positivity. Certainly, I cannot avoid reality, but I can choose to stay on top of my treatments, exercise and remind myself of how fortunate I am to not only have stable health but also to live in a time when CF therapies are more hopeful than ever. It is the constant reminder that I am in control of how much sunshine is in my life that motivates me to stay on top of my therapies and pursue the career of my dreams.

Kristy O.'s Artwork

Kristy O.'s Achievements

  • Part-Time Todder's Gymnastics Instructor, 2015-present
  • Freelance News Web Producer, 2016 -present
  • Full-Time teacher assistant at Friends Academy, 2018-present
  • LIU Post Valedictorian Candidate, Winter 2016
  • LIU Post Woman of Achievement, 2016
  • Keynote speaker at Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Jingle Ball 2018
  • Sign language enrichment teacher Friends Academy, 2018-present
  • Maintains blog featuring inspiring individuals with cystic fibrosis
  • President of LIU Post Diversity program (CHATS: Conversations Helping and Teaching Students) 2014-2016
  • Active volunteer at Cystic Fibrosis Foundation