Meet the 2022 Scholars

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

Ava W.

Undergraduate Recipient

"2022 marks the 30th anniversary of the AbbVie CF Scholarship. As we celebrate this milestone, we look forward to continuing to recognize more students pursing their educational goals. Please share your future ambitions in the Cystic Fibrosis community, professionally and personally."

Just like the illness, my passion for helping the CF community is lifelong. During my childhood I remember going to various soccer games, fun runs and walks that were all associated with the Cystic Fibrosis foundation but it wasn't until I was in my teens that I started to understand how much of an impact I can have on the Cystic Fibrosis community. High school was the roughest couple of years I had in terms of hospital stays and I took that upon myself to design t-shirts to help our CF great strides team raise money. I really enjoyed how my community of Mexico Missouri came together to support one cause so much so I decided to share my story for the soccer team that I was a part of and we held a soccer game and all proceeds went to our great strides team. As I stated previously, I was in the hospital a lot during my high school career and I had a lot of exposure to amazing nurses and therapists and that overall guided my decision to work in healthcare. I am very passionate about working in healthcare as a chronically ill person because that itself is not seen often and is usually doubted by those who are healthy. It is also my way of "giving back" as I feel it is my duty since I was given the best care over these 18 years. I plan on professionally serving the Cystic Fibrosis community by sharing my story at Mizzou and to be very transparent about my experiences with CF and advocate for others with CF to not be afraid to pursue healthcare related occupations. I am pursuing Occupational Therapy and I have a lot of compassion and empathy for the people I will help in the future because I know the frustration of being inpatient and even having to come to outpatient therapy. Because of my Cystic Fibrosis I am able to connect with people on a deeper level because I do know what it is like to be overlooked in a healthcare setting. I still personally am involved with CF foundations like Great Strides and sharing my story for the Mexico soccer team! I am even partnering with a former coach of mine to sell birthday boxes to those with CF that are in the hospital for holidays or their birthday, which hits close to home as I was in the hospital on Halloween and the day before my birthday one year. I am very ambitious to spread CF awareness all around, especially at Mizzou so much so I had a few Journalism friends interview me about CF for their projects. All in all, CF will always be a part of me and my story and I will never stop sharing my story in hopes it'll help someone else!

Ava W.'s Artwork

Ava W.'s Achievements

  • Part time Undergrad research assistant at Mizzou Occupational Therapy department
  • Part time Rehab tech at columbia post acute
  • Accepted into Mizzou's Occupational Therapy Assistant Program
  • National Honor Society-2021
  • Principal's Honor Roll 2018-2021
  • Mizzou's Dean's list Fall Semester 2021-2022
  • Academic Achievement Letter 2018-2021
  • Roy Creasy Scholarship-2021
  • Live for Dan Scholarship Winner-2021
  • Pascale's Pals Wayne Richards Scholarship Winner-2021
  • ABBVIE Scholarship Winner 2021