Meet the 2020 Scholars

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

Jennifer D.

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?"

The greatest unaddressed patient need in the CF community is the unacceptable fact that there still is no cure. CF is not viewed as a mainstream disease, such as cancer, even though it is the most common genetic disease. CF-ers face so many challenges and continuously changing hurdles that very few will ever understand, no matter how many movies poorly depict our struggle. As we fight this disease, it isn’t visible to most. We aren’t losing our hair, and we aren’t typically in wheelchairs. Our families, our caregivers, and we carry this burden ourselves, alone. The CF community has done a fantastic job taking on the fundraising role to get us to the point where our lifespans have extended, but without a cure. We need to have a global vision and voice to be elevated to the next level of research priority to find a cure. The world has pivoted in such a short time to find a vaccine for Covid-19 justifiably so. It just proves that it can be done if there is a will. We need to partner with an organization that will not treat us as a market segment that is too small to justify the effort. We need a partner that thinks more holistically on how our knowledge of genes and gene therapy across all diseases can be applied to find a delivery mechanism for a cure. That unknown partner will be a government agency, big pharma, or a guy in a lab, and please hurry.



  • Cysters and Fibros Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Initiative - Founder of Cysters and Fibros Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Initiative at Harriton High School. Focused on fundraising and general awareness of Cystic Fibrosis and its impact on learning.
  • Camp counselor - Camp Jeremy Transplant Recipient Camp - nonprofit camp specifically for 4-16 year old transplant recipients. Appeared on ABC 6 and local news for personal interviews advocating for the camp.
  • Television and Print Personality for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia - advocate for children's health issues. I have done television and print interviews as well as ad campaigns for CHOP.
  • buildOn volunteer - The work I did with buildON ranged from local cleanup initiatives to worldwide water collection.
  • Camp counselor - The Handwork Studio - I helped kids create beautiful arts and crafts while helping to nurture the bonds between all of my campers.
  • Harriton High School Theater Company - Publicity, Costumes, Hair and Make-up, Props and Cast department member
  • Philadelphia Youth Climate Strike and Awareness Organization - Member of the Philadelphia Youth Climate Strike and Awareness organization, which represents the concerned students of Philadelphia’s efforts to combat climate change.
  • National Jewish Food Drive - Volunteer at the National Jewish Food Drive with Lower Merion High School with the buildON organization. Packaged and delivered food to low-income recipients in the greater Philadelphia area.
  • Lower Merion High School’s Ultimate Frisbee Team - The Rook
  • Waitress - Coco Thai Bistro and The Cheese Company