Meet the 2022 Scholars

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

Tovah D.

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."

As a kid growing up with Cystic Fibrosis, I often felt isolated. None of my friends from school could relate to having a chronic illness, and as a Black person with CF, I even felt different within the CF community. The day I was diagnosed, the doctor told my mom that there was no way I had CF because I was Black. Although I was still a baby when I was diagnosed, that event encompasses a feeling I have always had of just feeling different from everyone else. I did not know anyone who looked like me who had experienced my struggles. This resulted in me being very uncomfortable in my own skin. But even through all of this, I still had many interests and passions in life. I loved writing, acting, and sports, and these passions influenced a lot of what I wanted to do when I grew up. I consumed a lot of books and movies, and very rarely did I come across stories related to CF. And when I did, I often felt they were inaccurate, romanticized, or focused solely on negative experiences. As I’ve gotten older, I have grown more secure in myself and my CF. But a lot of this was work I had to do independently. Because I really enjoy reading and writing, I would love to pursue work in publishing in order to create the representation I wish I could have seen as a kid. I would love to write a book series about a Black girl with CF and the different things she goes through. Not just the good, and not just the bad, but everything. I want it to be a story that feels real. Having a career in publishing would give me the opportunity to search for other stories like the one I imagine as well as give me the knowledge of what it would take to create my own. I think stories like these would allow other kids who feel like how I felt to know they are not alone. It would let them know that it is okay to struggle with insecurities surrounding how you view yourself because others feel that way too. But most importantly, I want them to know that it is possible to accept all parts of yourself!

Tovah D.'s Artwork

Tovah D.'s Achievements

  • Co-Mentor for the Office of Student Access and Disability Services
  • Member of Inklings (a creative writing club)
  • Admissions Intern at Colby College
  • Sexual Violence Peer Mentor at Colby College
  • Studied Abroad in Bath, UK for the Spring 2022 Semester
  • Intern at M Shed (a museum in Bristol, UK, February 2022- May 2022)
  • Club Volleyball
  • Graduated Salutatorian, 2019
  • Varsity Cheerleading Team, 2018-2019
  • Intern for Macmillan Publishers, Summer 2022