Meet the 2021 Scholars

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

Faith E.

Undergraduate 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?"

The Covid-19 pandemic flipped our world upside down in the Spring of 2020, and with that, our normal lives and activities were completely ripped from our grasp. My access to essential exercise facilities, specifically the swimming pool, was taken right out from under me. I had been swimming four to five days a week and gained strength, endurance, and lung function, especially important in Cystic Fibrosis. However, Covid and its long-lasting restrictions have decimated my swimming lifestyle. Other CF patients can relate in their own ways. The challenges prove significant to us because we must maintain active lives to ensure health; this helps us endure better during times of lung exacerbations. The hardships of the last year have given us an opportunity to take personal initiative in establishing new, healthy habits and in enriching ourselves in different ways. For the last year, I have been working out in our “garage gym” and making daily walks a priority. My family walks with me, increasing the health and morale of all of us during this Covid-year(s). I have also enriched myself during the pandemic through activities at home, like more reading, writing, photography (, and piano practice, as well as teaching piano lessons to three of my five siblings. Although the pandemic has caused cancellations and postponements, we can choose to take personal initiative in establishing healthy habits and in pursuing enrichment activities that we otherwise may not have had the time to pursue before Covid. That is definitely a silver lining!

Faith E.'s Artwork

Faith E.'s Achievements

  • Piano Performance: Evening in Excellence (2018); Northern Virginia Music Teachers Association (NVMTA) Piano Achievement Awards (2018); NVMTA Fall Festival (2018); NVMTA Sonata Festival, Second Round Finalist (2019); Capitol Hill Singing School accompanist (2018-2019); Church worship service piano accompanist (2019-2020); various recitals for my three teachers during high school, and multiple memorized auditions for college music departments (2018-2020)
  • Vocal Performance and Musical Theatre: Capitol Hill Church, Carols on the Hill, Soprano part in community choir (2018); Joint Base-Anacostia Bolling, Christmas Cantata Choir performing songs in military community and at Armed Forces Retirement Home (2017); Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling Home Educators "Lion King, Jr." playing lead role of Rafiki; Missoula Children's Theatre "The Snow Queen" playing roles of Gardner Woman and Finnish Woman.
  • Church: Weekly attender at church with my family of eight (2017-2021); participant in biweekly small group family Bible study (2017-2019); weekly youth group participant (2017-2019); Piano accompanist for children's choir and worship services.
  • Public Speaking: U.S. Department of Education, Veterans' Day Program - Short speech about military life; performed patriotic hymns with my five siblings (2017-02018); Education Freedom Scholarship unveiling - spoke to audience of 100-200 people about importance of school choice.
  • Swim Team: Portsmouth Swim Team - Coaches' Award for attitude, leadership, work ethic, dependability; Golden Kickboard Award for 50 freestyle in under 30 seconds (2019-2020.
  • Tae Kwon Do: Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling Youth Center, Demonstrated and developed strength, leadership, and discipline; helped teach the younger children; Earned seventh level, blue-black belt (2017-2019).
  • Cystic Fibrosis Foundation volunteer: Featured writer on my CF story for CF awareness for both WA and Northern New England chapters; raised over $45k with my family, across four years for Great Strides walks; now a CF Ambassador to encourage participation in the Great Strides walks and to be the face of the adult CF community. I also own my own earring business called 65th Rose, where I donate part of my profits to CF research.
  • Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Youth Sponsorship Program - volunteer work for sailors and families at the shipyard; also, selected as Military Youth of the Year for Maine (will be moving on to further regional competition).
  • Smithsonian Summer Day-Camp Youth Teaching Assistant (YTA), received YTA-of-the-week award (2018-2019)
  • Peirce Island Outdoor Pool, Lifeguard: Keeping patrons safe while adhering to all Coronavirus and water safety regulations. (2020 and will in 2021). Also have my professional rescuer, CPR First Aid, and AED certifications.