Meet the 2020 Scholars

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

Ivan J.

Undergraduate Recipient

"What do you believe is the greatest unaddressed patient need in the CF community, and if you could, how would you try to fix it? Who would you partner with (e.g. public figure, organization) to help fix the issue and why?"

When I think of one of the greatest unaddressed patient needs in the Cystic Fibrosis community, my mind instantly goes towards the lack of contact between CF patients. In fact, CF patients can't even be within 6 feet due to cross-infection. Even though I wish my little brother and sister didn't have Cystic Fibrosis, I'm fortunate to have people to chat with about the disease. It's easier to explain something to someone who deals with the same experiences as you do. The average person just doesn't understand the trials and difficulties that come with such a rare disease. There are some cases of people having no one to talk to about the painful things they go through. The solution could be as simple as creating Facebook groups that link CF patients together. If I had more funding I would fix this by proposing an app that would instantly connect people in the same health predicaments as soon as they're diagnosed. As for a partner, I'd choose Team Boomer and director, Gunner Esiason. They are the most visible national figures in the fight against Cystic Fibrosis and could be instrumental in driving awareness. I was also honoured by Team Boomer as the October CF warrior on their homepage. I couldn't have been more grateful to be appreciated. I was even more excited whenever a few kids and mothers reached out to me about having Cystic Fibrosis and playing sports. This experience showed me how impactful connecting with each other can be!



  • Barton College Scholarship Football Athlete, 2019-2020
  • Barton College Dean's List, Fall 2019- Spring 2020
  • Varsity High School Football team, 2016-2019
  • Boomer Esiason Foundation Monthly CF Warrior, 2019
  • Youth Ambassador for Gabe's Heart Foundation, 2016-2019
  • College liaison and outreach coordinator Gabe's Heart Foundation, 2019-Present
  • Optimal Undergraduate Scholarship Winner, 2020
  • STW Advocacy For At-Risk Youth Scholarship, 2020
  • National Society of High School Scholars, 2018-2019
  • The Rock Worship Center COGIC Camera Operator, 2016-2019