Meet the 2023 Scholars

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

Emma G.

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 Emma, As I sit here, preparing to write this letter to you, I can’t help but ponder over a life that I thought would never be. I have spent years hearing everybody’s version of my diagnosis story, and I have witnessed how CF has affected every single one of my family members. At the time of my diagnosis, the life expectancy for people with CF was only 20 years old, and many people thought that I would never make it this far. Nevertheless, here I am about to finish my first year of college. I know how discouraged you are right now sitting in that hospital bed missing out on the first week of your sophomore year of high school. I know you are just hoping that you will be out in time for your first Student Council meeting, but deep down you know that won’t happen. Your entire life you have screamed from the rooftops that “one day CF will stand for cure found,” but at this moment, 16 years after your diagnosis, I know you are beginning to question it all. All this work you have done your entire life to take care of your health, all this money you have raised for CF research, and yet here you are hooked to an IV and quarantined to your hospital room again. I know all hope seems lost, but little do you know how much things will change over these next three years. You have no idea what medications will be released, what treatments will be created, and how drastically lives will be changed. Let me tell you something that I have learned from the experience that you are going through right now: missing out on the first pep rally of the season is not as big of a deal as you think. Soon, you will realize how minute this moment is in the grand scheme of life. I know having CF is not ideal, and I know it is not something you would have selected for your life if given the choice. Nevertheless, you have to admit that CF has made us a stronger and an all-around better person. CF will always be a part of our life, but thankfully fundraising teams like ours are located all across the country. For years they too have raised money to go towards CF research, and because of that life-changing medications for people with CF have been created. These life-changing medications are making our future a whole lot brighter. They have caused our life expectancy to grow from 20 years old to 60 years old. We can go to college, get married, have kids, and travel the world without having to worry about our CF. I know things seem bleak right now, but hold onto your hope because there is light at the end of the tunnel. Be grateful for how far you’ve come, and how strong you are becoming! Sincerely, Future You

Emma G.'s Artwork

Emma G.'s Achievements

  • Fort Payne High School Student Council, President (2021-2022)
  • Fort Payne High School Key Club, Treasurer, (2019-2022)
  • Fort Payne High School Yearbook Staff, Editor, (2019-2022)
  • Northeast Alabama Community College Spectrum Art Club, Secretary & Social Media Manager, (2022-2023)
  • Emma and Eli’s Dream Team (Cystic Fibrosis Fundraising Team), Team Leader, (2018-Present)
  • Alabama Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Ambassador, (2021)
  • SouthPoint CPA, Inc., Part-time Administrative Assistant, (2022-Present)
  • Emma’s Designs: Freelance Graphic Design Business, Owner/Designer, (2020-Present)
  • Alabama Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation CF Star Award Winner (2022)
  • Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society Member (2022-Present)