Meet the 2022 Scholars

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

Leah A.

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."

For most of my life, I have been ashamed to share the impact Cystic Fibrosis (CF) has had on my life. However, in the last few years I’ve grown a voice to advocate for programs for my community as well as bring awareness to the disease and its various manifestations and symptoms. It’s fitting that the 30th anniversary of this scholarship is this year as I am also thirty and more effective than ever in demonstrating more confidence and freedom with a CF diagnosis. No longer is my life journey only about me, my outlook has changed from negative perfectionism-driven tendencies to extending grace and compassion to myself and others (because who doesn’t need a little more of that in their life?). None of my efforts have come easily, and that is what drives me to make a difference in the lives of others—I want to be a support and shoulder for those in my community, professional, and personal life. My future ambitions in the CF community involve more volunteer opportunities and advocacy. I participate in several programs currently —one of which involves community engagement and I plan to extend my participation in that for years to come. I also want to bring joy to the best of my ability. My story is a very powerful one, including my own battle with CF related diabetes. I also have a sibling who received a lung transplant in 2020. It may be easy to assume compartmentalization of the inner parts of ourselves, but I believe the growth in this area of my life also extends to my professional pursuits. My professional ambitions currently include writing a dissertation for my PhD but also fulfilling a role as an OD Consultant in my workplace. I would like to continue to institute positive culture and mindset changes that make the education system and workplace fair, easily accessible, and equitable for all. More than ever, corporations are understanding the need for diverse perspectives – disabilities included- and I want to make my mark as someone who affects change and culture programs no matter the organization I work for. Personal ambition has not always come natural for me when it comes to my CF (I preferred for it to be hidden in the past), but more than ever I have risen above my own self-induced shame and the perceptions of others as a “sick person.” I am a very ambitious person when it comes to loving fully, seeing the best in others, and making a difference. I plan to continue my quest of being a light to a sometimes-dark world and being a shoulder for those who need it. After a global pandemic, we need more connection and community than ever before and my personal ambition is to create a safe space for everyone. During episodes of illness, CF has prevented me from doing certain things in my life, but it will not stop me from being a voice for the community, a leader, and friend.

Leah A.'s Artwork

LEAH A.'s Achievements

  • Full Time Organization Development Consultant - present
  • Teaching Assistant for Human Resource Development Program, UT Tyler - Statistics Jan-May 2022
  • Outstanding PhD Student- University of Texas at Tyler 2021-2022
  • PhD Advisory Team (Student Ambassador), UT Tyler 2020-present
  • CF Foundation Shreveport Branch Chapter Ambassador 2018
  • Master's Degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Louisiana Tech 2015 (4.00 GPA)
  • Outstanding Graduate (Master's) Student- Louisiana Tech 2015
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology - LSU Shreveport 2014 (Magna Cum Laude)
  • President of Phi Mu Sorority, LSU-Shreveport 2013
  • Greek Student of the Year LSU-Shreveport 2013
  • Professional in Human Resources Certificate 2017 to present
  • Doctoral Candidate in Human Resource Development (HRD), UT Tyler - present
  • Vice President of Psychology Club- LSU Shreveport 2012-2014
  • CF Virtual Book Club Lead Shreveport, LA 2020
  • Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Adult Advisory Committee Member 2021-present