Meet the 2021 Scholars

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

Sarina S.

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?"

As members of the Cystic Fibrosis Community, we are no strangers to the realities of germs, viruses, and protective measures. In fact, we may be considered experts. Malcolm Gladwell shares in his bestselling book, Outliers, that it takes around 10,000 hours to become a master at something. In that case, living every day, every hour, as members of the chronic illness community led many of us to become masters of hygiene and awareness by just 14 months old. Living with CF, we don’t get days off. The treatments, the medications, the daily concern about remaining healthy are non-stop. But this year has shown us that this is not a curse, but a blessing. Living during a global pandemic, we could not have been better prepared to remain safe, and support others to do the same. For years we have connected online, used hand sanitizer religiously, and understood the threat that a virus can have on our health and safety. And still, we have persevered! Still, we have found ways to live life to the fullest, despite the challenges we have faced. If I can share anything with my fellow CF community in this second year of a global pandemic, I say let’s celebrate our strength! Let’s trust our training and work to help protect ourselves and those around us. If anyone is prepared, it is us. Be proud and wear your experience as a badge of honor! The world needs our strength now more than ever.



  • Cystic Fibrosis Foundation BreatheCon Conference, Co-Chair, 2021
  • CF MiniCon: Transplant, work group member/contributor, 2020-2021
  • Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Peer Connect, Peer Mentor, 2019-Present
  • The Salty Life Foundation, Board Member, Executive Editor, 2019-Present
  • Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Great Strides, Team Leader, 1995-Present
  • Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Tomorrow's Leaders, Minnesota/Dakotas member, 2019-Present
  • Author: The Guide to Gusto: 20 Ways to Learn, Love & Leverage Yourself to Unlock a Life of Happiness, Purpose & Productivity, 2018, Kindle Direct Publishing
  • CEO/Founder: Sarina Sandstrom, LLC, Freelance writer, editor, marketer, 2017-Present