Meet the 2021 Scholars

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

Mary O.

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?"

One piece of advice that I would give to other students with Cystic Fibrosis is to not lose sight of their passion. Being isolated and not able to leave my house for a year really allowed me to do a lot of internal reflection throughout this pandemic. I spent almost all of my free time doing the thing that brings me the most joy: making music. Occupying my time and my mind by playing the flute was a way to distract myself from the chaos of the world and not get trapped in a downward spiral. Over the summer, without the pressure of being in class, I got a chance to strive for the highest and improve my musicianship much more than I thought was possible. I spent hours practicing scales, etudes, different solos, and anything else that I could practice. Music is my passion, my true calling, the thing that gives me a reason to wake up every day. To other students out there who are struggling to deal with a chronic illness: find the thing that makes you want to wake up and fight to thrive every day. Whether that thing is music, art, video games, fitness, anything, having a passion and not losing sight of it makes fighting CF, and whatever other struggles you have, seem a lot easier.

Mary O.'s Artwork

Mary O.'s Achievements

  • Bedford High School Marching Band, Flute Section Leader, 2017-2018
  • Theta Tau, Treasurer, 2020-present
  • Society of Women Engineers, Programs Chair, 2019-present
  • Kappa Kappa Psi, 2020-present, Current Vice President of Membership
  • University of Toledo ASL Club, 2020-present, Current President
  • Intro to Electrical Engineering Peer Mentor, Fall 2020
  • Blaze Pizza, Team Trainer, 2017-2019
  • University of Toledo Marching Band, Orchestra, and Wind Ensemble, 2019-present
  • Karate, Black Belt achieved in 2017
  • Bedford High School Lacrosse, 2018