Meet the 2023 Scholars

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

Ivan J.

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, I hope this letter finds you well, during what I know is a challenging time in your life. I understand the weight of the burdens you carry, having been diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at such a young age and having experienced the loss of a beloved sibling. It's during moments like these when life feels overwhelmingly unfair and you question the purpose and meaning behind it all. But I want you to know that despite the hardships, you will find the strength to rise above and embrace a new perspective on life. Amidst the darkness, you will discover a light within yourself, a passion for helping others. This realization will guide you towards a fulfilling path as a personal trainer, where you will have the opportunity to positively impact the lives of many. Remember, your own struggles have equipped you with empathy and understanding, allowing you to connect with people on a deeper level. Cherish the moments when you witness the transformative power of your support and guidance in others' lives. I want to assure you that life, despite its unfairness, is still worth living to the fullest. Through your own experiences, you will learn to cherish each breath, each smile, and each moment of joy. Your journey with Cystic Fibrosis will teach you resilience, patience, and gratitude for the simple pleasures in life. Embrace your condition as a unique part of who you are, and let it fuel your determination to live purposefully. Stay strong, my younger self, and never lose sight of the incredible person you are becoming. Your experiences will shape you into a beacon of light for others, and your ability to rise above adversity will inspire those around you. Believe in yourself, embrace the challenges, and remember that even in the face of hardship, there is always hope. With love and encouragement, Your Future Self

Ivan J.'s Artwork

Ivan J.'s Achievements

  • Personal Trainer Golds Gym, 2022-2023
  • Boomer Esiason Foundation Athlete 2019-2023
  • CF Foundation Ambassador 2019-2023
  • College liaison and outreach coordinator Gabe's Heart Foundation, 2019-Present
  • Barton College Dean's List, Fall 2019- Spring 2020
  • Online Personal Training 2021-2023
  • Barton College Football, Captain, 2019-2020
  • Barton College Scholarship Football Athlete, 2019-2020