10th Anniversary Narcolepsy Scholarship Recipients Report from College

In the summer of 2023, Project Sleep and generous donors celebrated the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship’s 10th anniversary with 35 scholarships for college-bound students living with narcolepsy or idiopathic hypersomnia. During this month of giving thanks, we’re thanking YOU by sharing the recipients’ updates from college. Read on to learn how much your support of the 2023 narcolepsy scholarship means to these amazing scholars!

“Understood and recognized”

“I love my Foundations of Behavior class, which describes the evolutionary and physiological mechanisms behind brain development and behavior. It is a mix between anthropology and neuroscience and the lectures are very engaging!

Figuring out how to manage my idiopathic hypersomnia in college was definitely a fear of mine, but through some creative class scheduling I am able to manage it. My roommate is very supportive in helping me have quiet time, but also keeping me on schedule and motivating me to push through.

Receiving the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship means a lot to me. It makes me feel understood and recognized for having IH. Knowing that other people have experiences similar to mine and there are resources out there for us is really reassuring.”

— Briella, studying Neuroscience & Behavioral Biology at Emory University

“Forever grateful”

“Every Tuesday I take a Beginner Figure Drawing class which is the highlight of my week. The professor’s art assignments challenge me to let go of perfectionism and focus on the process and learning.

I’m doing a lot better with managing my narcolepsy at college than I thought I would. My school has a disability resource center and my family has been supportive throughout my transition into the fall semester.

It’s an incredible feeling to receive the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship, and to be acknowledged by people who understand my struggles and see the efforts I’m making to pursue a college degree despite the odds. I’m forever grateful for such a family.”

— Leyla, studying Architecture at Florida International University

“It’s alright to have narcolepsy”

“My favorite class is Intro to Mass Media, because we have thoughtful discussions on the history of communication and how it compares to today. My professor talks a lot, but what he says is interesting.

I’ve had some challenges managing my narcolepsy at college, but it feels less stressful than high school. I have a simple schedule with breaks in between classes, so if I need to nap I can do it in the library. I did well on my first midterm exam for computer science despite falling asleep several times.

Receiving the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship makes me realize that it’s alright to have narcolepsy despite how limiting it can be.”

— Sadmir, studying Computer Science at Brooklyn College


“My favorite class is my Environmental Resource Management seminar where they take us on excursions and bring in alumni who have careers and graduated with our major. It makes me excited for what I will do in the future.

Being at college gives me flexibility for managing my narcolepsy. I scheduled most of my classes close together, so that way I can get them out of the way and sleep either before or after.

Receiving the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship makes me feel recognized for my condition. I am so grateful that my narcolepsy is acknowledged and that I share it with others who face the same challenges.”

— Maggie, studying Environmental Science at Penn State

“A blessing”

“Acting 1 Lab is my favorite class. Even though I hate performing on demand, it forces me out of my comfort zone and I receive a lot of positive feedback.

Starting college has been an adjustment, and I struggle to manage my narcolepsy on the days of my 9:30 AM classes. I had two days where could not stay awake to attend class, so I am requesting accommodations.

Receiving the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship means so much since my mother’s payroll dates got changed when the first month’s tuition was due. This scholarship took all the stress off my family during that time. We know it is a blessing.”

— Robert, studying Anthropology and Psychology at Butler University

“Welcomed into this amazing community”

“I really enjoy my Dynamic Earth class. While it is only the introductory course for my major, I am so glad I can learn about my chosen field from day one.

While managing my idiopathic hypersomnia in college is a challenge, I have a strong and understanding network of family, friends, and professors to help me navigate the more difficult days.

Receiving the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship helped make attending my dream school possible. And while I am extremely thankful for this opportunity that Project Sleep and its donors have afforded me, I am even more grateful to be welcomed into this amazing community.”

— Abigail, studying Earth and Climate Science at Duke University

“Recognized in a way I never thought I needed”

“I enjoy my Music Appreciation class because it’s fun and interesting. I never knew music could be so complex and different.

My teachers are all very supportive, but I sometimes miss important information in class due to my narcolepsy symptoms. I like to keep in contact with my teachers and reach out when I need help.

I am honored to receive the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship and feel recognized in a way I never thought I needed. I am truly thankful because it helped with my school funds and getting supplies that make my time in college easier.”

— Katherine, studying Bioengineering at Haskell Indian Nations University

“A world of difference”

“My favorite class is Introductory Programming. It most closely relates to what I want to do in the future.

In college, I’ve learned how to plan out my day so I can get a nap if my narcolepsy is acting up. Also, having friends who know I have narcolepsy and help me out is probably the best thing ever.

Receiving the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship made a world of difference. It changed my life in a huge way, particularly by connecting me with more people with narcolepsy and making me feel more confident about having narcolepsy.”

— Jack, studying Computer Science and Cybersecurity at Minnesota State University

“Belonging and acceptance”

“My favorite class is Speaking Communication. It helps me learn strategies and engage effectively with different audiences. I find this beneficial for my future in the workforce.

Managing my narcolepsy in college is something new to adapt to, but I know I will figure out what works. I communicate with my professors and receive accommodations which help me stay up to date with my coursework. My friends know about my narcolepsy, and respect my space and time when I feel sleepy and need to take a break.

Receiving the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship is nothing short of a blessing. My whole life, I’ve always felt different than others around me and knew that no one would truly understand how it feels to have narcolepsy. This scholarship creates a sense of community that fosters belonging and acceptance. I am no longer alone.”

— Aminah, University of Kansas

Seen and supported

“My favorite college subject is sociology, because it opens my eyes to viewing experiences from the perspective of others.

Starting college with narcolepsy has been an adjustment, but I’m consistent with showing up to my morning classes despite tiredness. There have been few days where I skipped in order to sleep, and I am learning that it’s okay to sometimes take days off due to my narcolepsy.

Receiving the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship helped fund my college endeavors, and makes me feel seen and supported by similar individuals.”

— Emilia, studying Advertising and Public Relations at University of Central Florida

“All my work is starting to pay off”

“My favorite class is Computer Science: Intro to Object-Oriented Programming.

Even though managing my narcolepsy at college is challenging, most professors are understanding, and with my accommodations I have been able to adjust. It’s hard to stay awake during lectures, but luckily professors make most of the information available online. 

Receiving the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship makes me feel grateful to those who donate to make it possible, as well as relieved that all the work I put in during high school is starting to pay off.”

— Matthias, studying Computer Science at Georgia Tech

“People who want me to succeed”

“My favorite course is a golf class where we work on short range shots. We get to hit balls on the range all day and work on different techniques.

I’ve been able to effectively manage my narcolepsy in college. I can take my medicine when I’m supposed to and get to sleep when needed.

Receiving the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship means I have support to help me obtain my college education. It makes me feel like I have people who care and want me to succeed.”

— Colin, studying Business Administration at Grand Valley State University

“Helped my college career”

“My favorite class is Critical Writing. We discuss theories of writing and how to become better writers, all while using the topic of pop culture.

I am learning a lot about how to effectively manage my narcolepsy in college. I got access to accommodations, which help me succeed academically, and I am learning how to manage the amount of sleep I get.

Receiving the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship has helped my college career. It helped me afford my education.”

— Gabby, studying Secondary English Education at Slippery Rock University

“There are so many others with my condition”

“I greatly enjoy exploring the works of various writers in Women Poets in America. We even had the incredible opportunity to attend a reading by Patricia Smith.

Managing my narcolepsy in college has been easier than expected. The university and faculty are incredibly supportive and accommodating, and I’ve made friends who are very understanding when I struggle with symptoms. Setting routines and planning ahead help me balance my health, happiness, and academics.

The Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship is an enormous help, not only financially but personally. Seeing the other recipients helps me realize I’m not alone in my struggles and there are so many others with my condition.”

— Casey, Vanderbilt University

“Greatly appreciative”

“My favorite class is Executive Lectures. We’ve had many different speakers come in to share interesting stories and great business knowledge.

It is difficult to manage my narcolepsy at college. I have been extremely tired and slept through multiple classes. I also have a limited amount of time when I productively get school work done. I take advantage of that time though and am succeeding anyway.

Receiving the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship means a lot to me. I do not have to worry about the financial side of college as much and am greatly appreciative of all the help people have given me.”

— Brayden, Brigham Young University

“I am supported”

“My favorite class is Intro to Nanoscience and Nanoengineering. The nanofabrication process is very interesting and I enjoy the hands-on lab component of the class.

I am able to manage my narcolepsy pretty well at college, and my friends are helpful and supportive. Since I can do homework and take naps during the day, I do not have to struggle as much with staying awake at night to do homework like I did in high school, which is a relief.

I feel proud receiving the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship, and it is comforting to know I am supported by an organization that understands and cares about narcolepsy.”

— April, studying Materials Science and Engineering at Cornell University

“Educating people in a way I didn’t know I could”

“My favorite experience in college is meeting people from all backgrounds. It makes me appreciate the little things in life even more.

It is difficult managing idiopathic hypersomnia and college classes due to the amount of free time I have between classes. I often find myself sleeping my day away instead of being productive after class.

Receiving the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship means so much. It has allowed me to start an important conversation with my peers about what narcolepsy is and how it affects people. I am educating people in a way I didn’t know I could.”

— Alexis, studying Business at University of Tennessee

“There are others who understand”

“My favorite class is Communication, because I have learned the importance of communication in our day-to-day lives. I find it interesting to think about the million different ways we communicate with ourselves and others.

Managing my narcolepsy in college is a bit of a struggle. It’s challenging to stay focused on an assignment or sit through an hour-long lecture expecting to retain information. However, with improved habits, time, and support from my friends and family, I am noticing gradual improvement.

Receiving the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship means so much to me. It makes me feel like I’m not alone with narcolepsy and there are others who understand what I endure on a daily basis.”

— Madison, studying Human Resource Management at University of North Texas

“Acknowledges my silent struggles”

“My favorite class is Multivariable Calculus. I love math, and this class is so fun!

Managing my idiopathic hypersomnia at college is challenging at times. I am struggling every now and then to sleep at the right times, and have missed a class or two and been forced to do homework at late hours of the night. Overall I’m doing okay though.

I greatly appreciate receiving the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship. I rarely get any acknowledgment of my disorder, because it is invisible to everyone else. I feel as if few people understand what I go through in silence. This scholarship acknowledges my silent struggles.”

— Evan, studying Astrophysics at University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill

“Hope for my future”

“My favorite class is my Sports Performance and Coaching Lab, because we learn the science behind benefits of physical exercise and then apply it in the lab!

Managing my narcolepsy in college is better than I could have imagined. Since getting on the right medication and expanding my amazing support system, I feel like I can finally live my life and be awake to enjoy it too.

Being awarded the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship shows me I am not alone with my diagnosis. The scholarship program’s mission is so powerful and gives me hope for my future with narcolepsy.”

— Katerina, studying Exercise Science at Grand Canyon University

“Means so much”

“My favorite class is French. It’s a requirement for my second major in International Business, but my professor is so fun, which helps a lot in class!

Managing my narcolepsy in college is a struggle. My professors, friends, and family are all super supportive, but sometimes college doesn’t allow the easiest sleep schedule.

Receiving the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship means so much to me and helped me attend Baylor. It helps me feel validated in living with narcolepsy and raises awareness about my condition!”

— Olivia, studying Human Resource Management and International Business at Baylor University

“Connected to people who genuinely understand”

“My favorite class is Readings in Literature and Culture. My professor is hilarious, and very effective at teaching the course by keeping it modern and being encouraging.

Surprisingly, managing my narcolepsy in college is facilitated as there is much more I can do for myself and more resources are available than in high school.

The Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship makes me feel connected to people who genuinely understand. I want to become involved with Project Sleep to provide more people that opportunity for connection.”

— Tonya, studying Nursing at University of Alabama – Huntsville

“Someone cares”

“My favorite class is Python Coding Language. I enjoy learning the different topics within Python as well as coding my own programs from scratch.

It is a little difficult managing my narcolepsy in college, due to early classes and differences in my schedule from day to day. It was a bit of an inconvenience to get accommodations, but these are necessary to thrive.

I am incredibly grateful to the people who fund the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship, as it helped relieve some of the financial impact of going to school. It is good to know someone cares about people with narcolepsy.”

— Owen, studying Computer Science at Western Colorado University

“Motivated to continue my education”

“My favorite class is Children’s Literature. We dig deeper into multicultural books for children and focus on how important representation is for kids. It is so cool to explore picture books as an adult!

My school is wonderful about providing accommodations, so I have a great support system for managing my narcolepsy. It is relieving to know that my professors understand my condition and are willing to help in any situation.

Receiving the Jack & Julie Scholarship allowed me to go to my dream school to get my dream degree. This award makes me feel more motivated to continue my education even though I have narcolepsy. I am forever grateful!”

— McKenzie, studying Dental Hygiene at University of Louisville

“I can do this”

“My favorite class is Digital Basics. I’m learning important skills and my professor is awesome.

Managing my narcolepsy in college has been much better than expected. I have a good support system and am able to stay on track.

Receiving the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship makes me feel like everything is going to work out. With narcolepsy it’s always hard to tell whether something will go your way, but this scholarship proves that I can do this.”

— Lucas, studying Graphic Design at Old Dominion University

“A huge impact”

“My favorite class is called Girls Leaving Home, where we examine literature about young women setting out and creating lives of their own. So far we have read Shakespeare and Jane Austen. As I aspire to pursue my dreams far from home, I enjoy diving into the topic.

Managing my narcolepsy at college is going well. I have housing that is central on campus, which allows me to take naps to get through the day, and I have a lot of supportive friends!

Receiving the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship had a huge impact and helped me attend Smith, which was my first choice school because they have the best accommodations office. A supportive atmosphere is critical for me to successfully manage my condition, and I am so happy to be where I am.”

— Anna, Smith College

“A safe community”

“My favorite class is Intro to Illustration. I love how creative it pushes me to be.

Navigating college with narcolepsy hasn’t been easy, but I try to take it in stride. My peers and professors are very supportive and understanding, which gives me a space to thrive in.

Since being diagnosed only last year, I was jarred by how narcolepsy would affect my future. Knowing there are resources like the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship, and receiving it, increase my confidence and assure me that I am acknowledged and have a safe community.”

— Ruby, studying Animation at Maryland Institute College of Art

“I’m not the only one going through this”

“My favorite class is an art foundations course called Narrative and Representation. I love the hands-on projects we’re doing, and my classmates and professor are wonderful.

Managing my narcolepsy in college is easier than I expected it to be! There are some challenges regarding how late or early I’m able to stay awake, but it’s not too bad, thanks to my accommodations and kind and understanding professors, friends, and classmates.

Receiving the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship makes me feel heard, and like I’m not the only one going through this. I was able to put the award toward tuition, which was a big help and so appreciated.”

— Harlow, studying Pre-Interior Design at University of North Texas

“Support from people who understand”

“My favorite class is Weather and Climate as it tends to be one of my easier ones. The professor is also entertaining.

My college experience with narcolepsy has not been the greatest, but I’m managing a bit better now than when I started. My main strategy currently is to sit in somewhat lively spaces when studying, rather than the dorm, in an attempt to fight sleep.

Receiving the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship means a lot due to the amount of respect I have for Project Sleep. It allows me to feel support from people who understand my daily problems, which it sometime feels no one understands.”

— Nolan, studying Mathematics and Statistics at University of Georgia

“More at ease”

“My favorite class is in biology. My teacher is extremely fun and always has interactive activities that help explain the topic we are learning.

I have been managing my idiopathic hypersomnia well in college. Not having classes super early or more than two in one day helps me stay focused. I haven’t missed a class so far!

Receiving the Jack & Julie Scholarship means a great deal in helping pay for my education. It makes me feel a little more at ease.”

— Madi, studying Nursing at Wheaton College Massachusetts

“Never give up”

“My favorite class is Theatre Survey, because it reminds me of when I used to take theatre in middle school.

Managing my narcolepsy in college is harder than I thought it would be. However, my professors are really supportive and I have amazing friends who are always there for me.

Receiving the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship means the world to me. I have overcome so many obstacles in my life, and I hope I can inspire other people with narcolepsy to never give up and to always follow their dreams.”

— Rebecca, studying Marine Biology at University of Central Florida

“It feels amazing to be encouraged”

“College is a wonderful experience so far! Getting to meet so many new people and see so many new places has expanded my horizons.

In college, it is easier to manage my narcolepsy than it was in high school because of the free time I get in between classes. I was scared that my roommates wouldn’t like it if I napped throughout the day, but they are very accommodating and supportive.

Receiving the Jack & Julie Scholarship empowers me to feel welcome on a college campus. It feels amazing to be encouraged and supported to share my experiences with the public, and hopefully encourage others with narcolepsy to share their stories as well.

— Lillian, studying Nursing at Endicott College

“So satisfied”

“I enjoy my Psychology class most of all. It has interesting topics that I enjoy discussing.

It’s hard to manage my narcolepsy in college; having a “lightened load” schedule is really important for me. It’s also very important for me to have classes that are held during the times of day I am actually awake. 

I feel so satisfied receiving the Jack & Julie Scholarship. Knowing how proud my family is means a lot, too. I used the funds to buy textbooks and a laptop.”

— Sophia, studying Animal Behavior and Conservation at Canisius University

“More time to focus on school”

“Microbiology is my favorite class. I love learning about the small organisms that have a great impact in our everyday life.

Managing my narcolepsy in college has been challenging as I have to make time to rest, sleep, be healthy, and study. My classes are very demanding so it is hard being exhausted and stressed. However, I am managing it well.

Receiving the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy scholarship means so much to me, as the founders and donors believe in supporting people with narcolepsy to be successful in college. This award gives me more time to focus on school and be patient with my body, as I do not have to feel stressed about working a job to pay for college.”

— Olivia, studying Nursing at Augusta University

“I am not alone!”

“My favorite class is Civil War and Reconstruction. As a history major, I enjoy studying the Civil War on a deeper level.

Managing narcolepsy in college has been easier than I expected. Scheduling classes around my best alert times is key for me to be successful, along with speaking with my professors from the start. The greatest challenge has been explaining my narcolepsy to other guys in my dorm. Thankfully, I have a great group of like-minded friends in the Honors Program who appreciate my situation and limitations.

It was humbling to receive the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship, which represents all the work Project Sleep has done to create awareness and advocate for people with narcolepsy and idiopathic hypersomnia. It is inspiring to know I can achieve great things despite the limitations of narcolepsy. This scholarship was an honor to receive and it helps me realize I am not alone!”

— Jackson, studying History at Florida Southern University

Your Impact

All this is because of YOU. The generosity of supporters, families, other non-profits, and corporations is what has allowed Project Sleep to award 191 scholarships totaling $191,000 in ten years.

We proudly partnered with the Hypersomnia Foundation to award scholarships to this year’s five recipients with idiopathic hypersomnia. Special thanks to Jazz Pharmaceuticals and Harmony Biosciences, LLC for their generous contributions to support this year’s narcolepsy scholarship.

Support Big Dreams

Project Sleep aims to release the 2024 Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship application the first week of January 2024.

You can play a role in improving the lives of others and building a brighter future with an end-of-year tax-deductible gift to Project Sleep today. Your donation or Facebook Fundraiser in honor of #GivingTuesday, Nov. 28, 2023 will go so far to support BIG DREAMS. Thank you!

Share this...

1 Comment. Leave new

  • Thank you for sharing this! My son is a senior in high school and was recently diagnosed with narcolepsy. We are struggling to find the right iteration of meds to help him function. Reading these students’ stories gives me hope for the future! He’s determined to go away for college next year and I hope we can make that happen for him.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
You need to agree with the terms to proceed

Skip to content