Meet the 2021 Scholars

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

Lily Kate A.

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?"

Experiencing the global pandemic as an individual with chronic illness inspired me to take further action towards externalizing my experiences with healthcare, isolation, and grief. The pandemic has been devastating and disorienting to all, but it has, in a positive light, incited a community spirit in many and renewed conversation around protection for vulnerable members of society. Cystic fibrosis patients are particularly valuable in spaces of medical and political dialogue due to their level of exposure to the healthcare system; patients and caregivers are mandatorily well-versed in medical terminology, symptoms, and treatments and are often impacted by insurance policies and government legislation, affording unique perspectives on those domains as well. My advice to other students living with CF is to take advantage of the current opportunity for advocacy and leadership—the opportunity that has been afforded us all to reconnect, reprioritize, and reimagine solutions to problems that have long been in place. Whether you find yourself drawn to direct political engagement, expression through conversation and art, or roles of emotional support for others during times of trauma, externalizing your personal experience with cystic fibrosis in a productive way is individually therapeutic and beneficial for larger collectives that might otherwise lack your specific insight. Raising awareness for CF and the components of disability ultimately changes the trajectory of this disease and others and eradicates unnecessary hurdles of misunderstanding and social ignorance for future generations.

Lily Kate A.'s Artwork

Lily Kate A.'s Achievements

  • Delta Epsilon Iota Honor Society for campus leadership and academic excellence, 2017
  • Mortar Board Honor Society for leadership, scholarship, and service, 2017
  • Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society for academic excellence, 2017
  • Pi Delta Phi Honor Society for outstanding achievement in the study of French, 2017
  • Sigma Tau Delta Honor Society for outstanding achievement in the study of English Literature, 2017
  • Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society for excellence in the liberal arts and sciences, 2017
  • Anne Howard Bailey Prize for Creative Writing (prose) from Rhodes College, 2017
  • Writing Fellow for the Rhodes College Department of English, 2015-17
  • Founder and co-President of 60 Drafts Writing Group, 2017
  • Manager and top sales with Free People Memphis, 2018-20