Meet the 2021 Scholars

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

Caitlyn H.

Graduate Recipient

"Living through a global pandemic with a chronic illness, what is one piece of inspirational advice that you would give to other students with CF who are in the same or similar position?"

In Five Feet Apart, actress Rachael Lippincott said, “If this year has taught me anything, it’s that grief can destroy a person.” I have seen first-hand the impact negative outlooks can have on an individual’s overall health and well-being. The COVID-19 pandemic brought many moments of fear, uneasiness, sorrow, and frustration as I navigated coronavirus in my community. Everyone in society felt lost as social distancing became a regular practice. As a cystic fibrosis patient, social distancing was not a new concept; however, that did not make the abrupt transitions taking place at work, school, and in society easier. Remaining vigilant of my surroundings and thankful were my primary focuses over the last year. Looking for the good in situations is important since continuing to have a negative outlook on life and the obstacles you face will only cause more turmoil and emotional pain. I was able to find a positive for each obstacle I encountered over the last year which prevented me from deteriorating both mentally and physically. Identifying a support system early on and reaching out when needed was also imperative to navigating the ever-changing virtual world as a student. As cystic fibrosis patients, we know our body best; therefore, advocating for measures that we believe are necessary to our success is crucial. Colleges and universities will make accommodations, but as students, we are responsible for speaking up to make educators knowledgeable of our situation and requests.

Caitlyn H.'s Artwork

Caitlyn H.'s Achievements

  • Michigan State University Rodeo Club member, help plan and run an IPRA award-winning rodeo, 2018-current, 2019-2020 Club Co-Chair, 2020-2022 Graduate Advisor.
  • MediLodge of East Lansing, Social Services, conduct assessments with residents, lead care conferences, and facilitate discharge planning, 2019-current.
  • Miss MSU Rodeo Queen 2020, promoted the Spartan Stampede, the sport of rodeo, and the western heritage in the state of Michigan and around the Midwest.
  • Dean's List, Michigan State University, 2017-current.
  • 4-H Leader for Techchangers project (National partnership with Microsoft), 2018-2019, Midnight Riders Horse Club, 2018-2020, General leader, 2018-current.
  • Individual and group clinics with aspiring rodeo royalty, focus on rodeo knowledge, public speaking, and interview skills, 2018- current
  • Michigan State University Stars for Make-A-Wish, raise money for Michigan's Make-A-Wish Foundation, 2018-current, 2019-2020 Club Secretary.
  • MediLodge of Campus Area Activities Assistant, volunteered two semesters at a nursing home helping with daily activities for the residents to socialize, 2018-2019.
  • 2018 Upper Peninsula State Fair Overall Showman.
  • 2018 Outstanding Student Athlete, Bay De Noc Community College.