2021’s Disability Scholarship Award Winner Achieved Academic Excellence While Living With Stage 3 Chronic Kidney Disease.
CHERRY HILL, New Jersey, September 15, 2021 — Bross & Frankel, a New Jersey-based disability benefits law firm, has selected the winner of its 2021 Disability Scholarship Award.
This $1,000 scholarship is intended to support the academic goals of students with a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits their life activity. The firm website indicates that all applicants must:
- Be a current freshman or sophomore undergraduate student at a university, college, or community college, or a high school senior who will be attending a university, college, or community college in the fall of 2021
- Have a cumulative 3.0 GPA or better
- Submit an essay related to their experience as a student with a disability
About the Winner
This year’s winner is Emily Teresa from Monroe, North Carolina, who is attending Wingate University. Emily was born with a diagnosis of spina bifida, neurogenic bladder, hydronephrosis of the left kidney, low bladder compliance, and bladder trabeculation. She currently lives with stage 3 chronic kidney disease.
Two or three months after Emily was born, she underwent a tracheostomy surgery to help her breathe. From the time she entered pre-kindergarten until sixth grade, a nurse attended school with her.
“I would go to her if I needed anything, like getting the secretions suctioned from my trach,” Emily recalled in her essay. “I was wondering at that time why I have a nurse and other kids are by themselves.”
When she started middle school, the tracheostomy was gone, which gave her a greater feeling of freedom. “It [felt] good to do something in school just like the regular students, though I know in my heart I’m still different,” she wrote.
Since she had difficulty walking, Emily wore ankle-foot orthoses (AFO) for a while and couldn’t participate in a lot of physical education activities. Since she couldn’t walk as quickly as other students and tended to fall easily, she was given a different time to travel in the hallways between classes.
“I got through that with the help and encouragement of my mom, teachers, counselors, and other staff from school,” she recalled.
Living with stage 3 chronic kidney disease, Emily takes daily self-care measures like catheterization every three or four hours and avoiding salty foods that are detrimental to her kidneys.
Emily concluded her essay by writing, “My goal for the future is to finish my four-year college and live as normal life as possible even if it is hard. I am planning to take a pre-medical course and then get a job. I also want to help other kids with spina bifida like me.”
About Bross & Frankel
Since 1995, Bross & Frankel has helped clients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania pursue the disability benefits they need. Advocating for these clients has given the firm’s team an in-depth understanding of the challenges associated with having a disability, and the scholarship was designed to make a positive difference in the life of a disabled student.