Meet the 2022 Scholars

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

Samantha J.

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."

Back in 1992, when AbbVie created the CF scholarship fund, the average life expectancy for a child born with CF was 32 years old. Today, in 2022, the average life expectancy is 46 years old. From the “Kiss Your Baby Campaign” in the 1980s, to paving the way for holistic, specialized chronic disease management, the unwavering persistence of the cystic fibrosis community has propelled CF to the forefront of scientific research and public health campaigning. I am thankful I have been a recipient of these efforts, giving me the ability to pursue my passions in health policy and community health, attend college, and envision a bright future for myself. To follow a career path in public policy, after completing my undergraduate B.A. in Global Health and Women and Gender Studies next spring, I will obtain a master's degree in public health. I am determined to grow as a rare disease patient leader. I will continue routinely contacting my congressional leaders, expressing my support for critical bills to help the CF community. I will join other CF leaders in advocating for various policy changes, such as advancing the efforts of pharmaceutical manufacturing and lowering drug costs. Upon graduation, I plan to become involved in national CF groups, such as No Patient Left Behind. In conjunction to my professional efforts, the CF community will forever be a pillar of my identity and motivation for pursuing a career in healthcare. I will continue to write blogs and keep up my social media presence, lending support and educating others on CF, disseminating information on new medications and therapies, and raising awareness for diversity and inclusion of all CFers. I will continue to serve as a positive role model in my CF community, both online, in my presence on social media platforms and blog posts, as well as in person, leading Sam’s Awesome Apostles at the annual CF Cycle for Life Event and my Great Strides Team.

Samantha J.'s Artwork

Samantha J.'s Achievements

  • May 2022 - Present: English Tutor Volunteer, The Welcome Project, Somerville, MA
  • Aug 2021 - Present: Member of Gamecocks Aiding Refugees in Columbia (GARC), University of South Carolina
  • Sept 2021 - Present: South Carolina Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Leadership, Education, and Advancement in Undergraduate Pathways (LEAP) Mentee; Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina
  • Jan - May 2021: Research Assistant, Department of Health Promotion, Education and Behavior, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina
  • April 23, 2021: iPoster presentation, “Are First-Time Mothers of 'Advanced Maternal Age' Actually 'High Risk'?: An Examination of Clinical Research in the United States,” at Discover UofSC, Columbia, SC, (Poster Presentation). I was awarded the 'Excellence and Outstanding Achievement Award' for Discover UofSC iPoster Presentation 2021, and was winner of the 'Maternal and Child Health iPoster Contest'; Awarded by the Maternal and Child Health Department, UofSC Arnold School of Public Health
  • Feb 2021: Guest Presenter, Department of Psychology, Adler University, Chicago, IL. I gave a joint presentation with my cystic fibrosis care team, Pulmonologist Dr. Gregory Sawicki and Psychologist Dr. Carolyn Snell about the biology of cystic fibrosis, my experience living with cystic fibrosis during the COVID-19 pandemic and managing my daily medical regime
  • Jan 2021 - Aug 2021: Regional Director, The Borgen Project, Seattle, WA
  • Sept - Dec 2020: Global Health Writing Intern, The Borgen Project, Seattle, WA
  • University of South Carolina Capstone Scholar
  • CF Cycle For Life "Sam's Awesome Apostles" Team Leader