Meet the 2022 Scholars

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

Sophia K.

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."

In the Cystic Fibrosis community, I want to continue to serve as an advocate for patients, families, and other individuals affected by Cystic Fibrosis. Their voices deserve to be heard and the fight towards a cure should only continue to grow. As both a future and current healthcare worker, I see great potential for growth in terms of educating the public, conducting further research studies, and ensuring equal accessibility to care regardless of any socioeconomic or geographical barriers. As a Physician’s Assistant, I plan to work alongside various healthcare professionals to provide ongoing education to care teams so they can better understand the complexity and differing severities of the disease as well as continue to spread that education onto patients and families. Cystic Fibrosis is a multifaceted disease and by spreading that knowledge, a suitable and specialized care plan can be created and implemented. My hope is that individuals will learn to understand that Cystic Fibrosis encompasses much more than just pulmonary ailments and it can range from nutritional issues, CF related diabetes, mental health concerns, and GI matters. While I may not be able to be in direct contact with the patients, I plan to conduct/oversee research studies as well as continue to educate myself on advancements in genetic testing technology. Not only is it important to create modular drugs, but also creating treatments and therapies to ease the comfort of those living with Cystic Fibrosis. While working alongside other establishments, I will ensure that the researchers and medical professionals have the tools and funds necessary to conduct this groundbreaking research. For those living with Cystic Fibrosis, there are many social determinants that play a role in determining the quality of an individual's care whether that is due to economic status, geographical location, or even educational barriers. I believe it is extremely important to ensure that these individuals have access to everything they need to achieve the highest quality care. At a microlevel, I believe this begins with education and engaging both healthcare professionals and the public on this issue. On a large scale, I believe that policy makers should be contacted and spoken to about these matters because they are a systemic issue that has to be faced head on. I would personally want to be a part of the team that organizes the delivery of this discussion. A long term goal of mine is to eventually open a nonprofit and donate all proceeds to varying Cystic Fibrosis related establishments. I want this nonprofit to host a variety of events all centering around the idea of a healthy lifestyle. I want to give those with Cystic Fibrosis and their families the ability to feel confident in their futures and have hope that this is what their life will hold. This will make a huge impact on both their mental health, but their physical health as well.

Sophia K.'s Artwork

Sophia K.'s Achievements

  • Camp Kesem Counselor, 2022
  • Secretary Officer of Pre-Physician's Assistant Club, 2022
  • Common Cause Symposium Facilitator, 2022
  • KU Women in Medicine Club-Public Service Committee Member, 2021-Present
  • Chi Omega Sorority Member, 2020-Present
  • University of Kansas Honors Program, 2020-Present
  • University Dean's List, 2020-2022
  • Junior League Cotillion Debutante, 2019
  • Pediatric Trial Network Conference Presenter, 2019
  • International Children's Advisory Board Member, 2018-2020