Meet the 2023 Scholars

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

Else 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 younger self, You are about to enter college and embark on a new and exciting chapter of your life. I am writing to you at this key moment in hopes to offer words of encouragement and reflect on the challenges you will overcome on this journey. I know how scary it feels right now, but I want you to know how proud I am of you for getting to this point. Big changes are ahead, but you’ve already done the tough part, you’ve taken the leap and moved over 2,000 miles away from your small hometown in Alaska and chosen a path of career exploration and personal development. Living with CF has brought many challenges and setbacks throughout your life. You’ve had to manage financial hardships, endure hours of daily treatments, and face hospitalizations in times of sickness. You’ve doubted your personal and professional capabilities, thinking that no matter how hard you try CF would find a way to keep you from your passions and goals. It’s no wonder you are feeling nervous and overwhelmed during this transition, with the notion of dealing with these challenges on your own in a new setting. I want you to know that while these challenges will continue to impact you throughout college, they are simply a part of living with CF, and you will learn to overcome them. You have always been a hard worker, so learning to balance your coursework, campus jobs, extracurriculars, and social engagements all while staying compliant with your CF care will be challenging but doable. This strong work ethic will help you easily set goals, focus your time and energy on what is truly important to you, and instill a process of commitment and motivation that any accomplishment requires. Additionally, never forget that you are surrounded by a wonderful support system. You are not alone, don’t be afraid to ask for help and accept support from friends and family in times of need. Remember who and what inspires you. Look towards your older brother, who also has CF, for encouragement. He has set an example of the quality of life someone with CF is capable of living. From his professional career, lightheartedness, and success in sports, his influence will continue to inspire you to pursue the same kind of fulfillment in your own life. I encourage you to use this next phase of your life to explore your identity, become a free thinker, and live life to the fullest. Your resilience to never doubt what you are capable of will cultivate a positive mindset and love for the world that you will carry with you for the rest of your life. As you face challenges, stay steadfast and keep fighting, because overcoming these challenges will teach you life-long lessons and shape you into the accomplished individual you will become. Don’t be afraid to take this next leap and remember that everything will be ok. I am so proud of you! With love, Future You

Else M.'s Artwork

Else M.'s Achievements

  • University of Puget Sound Undergraduate Researcher in Exercise Science, 2023-Present
  • UPS Employment, Academic Peer Advisor, 2023-Present
  • Puget Sound Outdoors Program, Volunteer Trip Leader, 2022-Present
  • UPS Orientation Leader, 2022
  • UPS Dean’s List, fall 2020, spring 2021, spring 2022, fall 2022
  • UPS Symphony Orchestra, 2020-Present
  • Applied Music Lessons in Violin Performance, 2019-Present
  • Children’s Summer Camp Counselor and Volunteer, 2019-Present
  • UPS Climbing Club, 2020-Present
  • Cross Country and Alpine Ski Team, 2019-2023