Meet the 2023 Scholars

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

Cassidy M.

Undergraduate Recipient

"Write a letter to your younger self during a key moment in your life addressing one or more of the following: words of encouragement, lessons you have learned and/or challenges you have overcome."

Dear Cassidy ten years in the past, Life as a nine-year-old can feel impossible, trust me I've been there. You feel misunderstood, alone, and trapped. But right now you've faced more challenges than some people face in their entire lives, having Cystic Fibrosis is just one of many. Do you know what I say to that? What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. You'll face so many challenges in the next ten years that you might as well be an Olympic champion weightlifter if that saying rings true. While fourth-grade Cassidy might feel like the loneliest kid in the world, I can assure you that over the years you'll make lifelong friends. You'll even meet many people who want to understand your struggles and bear them with you. These people are the ones who will give you the willpower to carry on. Your best friend will even encourage you to start track and field. Running will feel like the most freeing experience ever, and you'll work so hard that eventually running will become second nature. You'll also never forget that the track is where you met your first friend with Cystic Fibrosis, and it's someone who is much faster than you. Finally, someone who inspires you to work hard despite having CF, someone who shows you that CF isn't the end of the world, but it's also a connection between you and others. Emily will inspire you to get more involved in the CF community. Your team at Upstate will invite you to speak at teaching days and to write columns for the newsletter. You will join online CF communities and give advice to others, and you'll feel like you finally found a community where you belong. CF isn't just a disease to you anymore, you will realize that it makes you unique and it has made you build more character than anyone else your age. Things will seem tough for a while, but I promise they will get a thousand times better, and you'll begin to enjoy life in ways you've never dreamed of.

Cassidy M.'s Artwork

Cassidy M.'s Achievements

  • Indoor Track and Field, Volunteer Coach, 2022-2023
  • Varsity Outdoor & Indoor Track and Field, Captain, 2020-2022
  • Action Ecology Club, Public Relations Officer, 2022
  • Varsity Track and Field, 2018-2022
  • Part time - AMC Theatres, Crew, 2021-2023
  • Part time - Gabriella's Cakes and Co., Staff, 2023
  • Part time - Binghamton University, Note-Taker/Student Assistant, 2022-2023
  • Broome County Family Court, Student Intern, 2022
  • Broome County Executive's Office, Student Intern, 2021
  • Broome County Public Defender's Office, Student Intern, 2021
  • Varsity Cross Country, 2022
  • Speaker, Cystic Fibrosis Teaching Day @ Upstate Medical University, 2022
  • Binghamton University Deans List Fall and Spring Semester, 2022-2023
  • Broome County Emerging Artist Nominee
  • NYS Attorney General, Triple ""C"" Award Recipient
  • National Technical Honors Society Member, 2022
  • Broome County Arts Council, High School Emerging Artist Nominee, 2021 & 2022