Meet the 2016 Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship Recipients

June 01, 2016
Project Sleep is proud to introduce the 14 recipients of the 2016 Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship. Please join us in cheering on these inspiring students who exemplify courage and hope while taking on college with narcolepsy.

Meet the 2016 Recipients:

Jack Agnes

Oakdale, NY

Jack was diagnosed with narcolepsy just recently, although he sought help for several years without success. In high school, he played on the volleyball team and participated in student government. He is a member of the local junior fire department and has participated in the racing team for the past six years. This fall, he plans to study engineering at the State University of New York at Geneso.

Abby Mortensen

Sharpsburg, GA

Abby was diagnosed with narcolepsy when she was 17 years old. She has participated in Allstate Choir, District Honor Choir and her high school’s Chamber Choir and was a GMEA’s Composition Contest winner. She was also the vice president of Beta Club and grade-level chairmen for Key Club in her senior year. Abby looks forward to pursuing her music business career aspirations at Belmont University.

Daly Ferguson

Burke, VA

Daly was diagnosed with narcolepsy with cataplexy during her sophomore year of high school, further complicated by a Graves’ disease diagnosis that year. She participated in varsity cross country and track throughout high school on top of her rigorous AP courses and volunteer work. As captain, she led her cross country team to a state championship. This fall, she plans to continue her running career and study engineering at the University of Florida.

Anna Neu

Atlanta, GA

Anna is a proud advocate for narcolepsy awareness. Living with narcolepsy has helped her find her voice and she is passionate about using it to advance the cause. She likes to use art to educate others about the types of challenges people with narcolepsy face everyday. This fall, Anna plans to continue this work at the School of the Arts Institute of Chicago.

Taylor Ferguson

Dakota Dunes, SD

After being diagnosed with narcolepsy right before her freshman year of high school, Taylor has learned to never let her diagnosis define her and to always stay in control and positive. When she is not studying (or napping), she enjoys playing the piano, volunteering and painting. Taylor plans to study non-profit management and chemistry and play volleyball at Morningside College.

Donovan Parris

Burtunsville, MO

Donovan has been dealing with his symptoms of narcolepsy for many years, but was officially diagnosed at the age of 16. He has maintained a 4.02 GPA while participating in the theater group, playing alto saxophone with the Jazz Ensemble and competing on the varsity wrestling team. This fall, Donovan will begin studying marketing and supply-chain management at North Carolina A&T University.

Katleen Goss

Youngsville, NC

Katleen’s narcolepsy symptoms began in seventh grade but she was diagnosed her sophomore year of high school. In high school, she took AP classes, competed on the swim team and worked as a lifeguard. Katleen hopes to eventually attend medical school and participate in a program like Doctors Without Borders. This fall, she plans to study biomedical engineering and compete with the club water ski team at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Alex Schroeck

Erie, PA

Alex was diagnosed with narcolepsy at age 14. As a soccer player, he set his high school’s record for the most goals scored in a career and was awarded Player of the Year twice by the Erie Times News. He also played football and tennis. He has a 4.0 GPA and volunteers at senior citizen homes, soup kitchens and the YMCA. Starting college, he plans to major in business and play on the men’s soccer team at Gannon University.

Luke Kiernan

Green Bay, WI

Luke was diagnosed with narcolepsy at age 10 after experiencing severe cataplexy for a year. In high school, he was very involved in the music department, playing string bass in the band and performing in the musical. Outside of school, he enjoys recreational math and playing board games with friends. In the fall, he plans to turn his math hobby into a major at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

Jalaal Shah-Taylor

New York, NY

Jalaal was diagnosed with narcolepsy the summer before high school but has experienced symptoms since the sixth grade. He has not let narcolepsy get in the way of playing basketball. Now that he is confident living with narcolepsy, he is excited to pursue a career as a mechanical engineer. This fall, he will be attending the University of Binghamton.

Danielle Kontak

Tiffin, OH

Danielle’s narcolepsy symptoms began when she was 13 years old and she was diagnosed at 15. She participated in volleyball, basketball, and track and field on a varsity level throughout high school. She was also a member of the Student Council, Student Against Destructive Decisions and Spiritual Commission. Danielle aims to study health care administration while attending Bowling Green State University .

Sophia Stewart

Hillsborough, NC

Sophia showed symptoms of excessive sleepiness as a child, and was diagnosed with narcolepsy with cataplexy in the sixth grade. In high school, she participated in the National Honor Society, Tri-M Music Honor Society, and played the French horn in the Wind Symphony and the mellophone in Marching Band. Her hobbies include drawing, painting, reading, and writing. This fall, she will attend Southern Virginia University.

Delaney Krueger

Indianapolis, IN

Delaney was diagnosed with narcolepsy her junior year of high school, but struggled with symptoms since middle school. She played four years of varsity volleyball and will continue playing volleyball in college. She loves making others laugh and she is passionate about art. In the fall, she plans to study the combination of her two passions: animation – at Huntington University.

Kaitlyin Youngblood

Loganville, GA

Kaitlyin was diagnosed with narcolepsy at the age of 14 during her freshman year of high school. Throughout high school, she owned a successful online fashion business and tutored foster care students. Her goal is to become a neurosurgeon to help people with mental illnesses. Starting this fall, Kaitlyin plans to major in biology with a focus on pre-medicine at the University of Florida.

Jack and Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship Logo

Scholarship Soars to New Heights

Founded in 2014 by Julie Flygare and the Graham Family, Project Sleep’s Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship is the first-ever national scholarship program supporting students with narcolepsy while also raising narcolepsy awareness in high school and college settings. In its first year, the program awarded two scholarships and in 2015, the program awarded nine scholarships.
This year, the program had a record number of applicants – 53 students representing 30 states across the country.
Generous individuals, families and businesses contributed a remarkable $9,000 toward this year’s narcolepsy scholarship program. A wonderful $5,000 gift from Jazz Pharmaceuticals expanded the program even further. As a result, Project Sleep is awarding 14 scholarships of $1,000 each to high school seniors attending college this fall.
Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder affecting 1 in 2,000 people worldwide. Symptoms include excessive sleepiness, cataplexy (sudden muscle weakness triggered by emotions), sleep paralysis and frightening hallucinations while falling asleep or waking up.
“This year’s applicants displayed tenacity and maturity well beyond their years,” describes Flygare. “We are deeply grateful for the individuals, families and corporations including Jazz for paying it forward and creating a record-breaking 14 scholarships for students with narcolepsy!”
Please join Project Sleep in congratulating these real-life narcolepsy superheroes — share this post to continue raising narcolepsy awareness today!
Read more about the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship

Supporting big dreams:

Project Sleep a small 501(c)(3) non-profit supporting big dreams! You can make a HUGE impact on students with narcolepsy with a tax-deductible donationThank you for helping to build a brighter future for narcolepsy!
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