Giving Thanks! 2022 Narcolepsy Scholarship Recipients Report Back From College

This summer, generous donors joined with Project Sleep to award 30 Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarships to college-bound students living with narcolepsy or idiopathic hypersomnia. We caught up with the recipients recently to hear how college life is going and what the scholarship means to them. Read on to discover the profound impact your support makes!

“A community I didn’t know existed”

“My favorite class is my freshman seminar called Multicultural Achievement. It is a pretty laid-back class, but we have some very interesting and meaningful conversations.

Managing my narcolepsy in college has been quite easy because I figured out when to take my medication and how much to take according to my schedule. My professors all know I have narcolepsy, and my friends support me by understanding when I get sleepy during the day or need to take a nap before we go out.

I am so blessed to have received the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship. Reading other recipients’ stories has created a sense of community I didn’t know existed. This scholarship brings young people together to realize that others just like us are dealing with the same thing, and we can learn from one another.”

— Sheyanne, studying Biology at University of West Georgia

“I can pursue higher education”

“My favorite class is Understanding Media and Content in the Digital Age. It is fascinating to learn about the types of controls placed on media content and which companies own the channels and networks.

The friends I’ve made at college are incredibly understanding. I struggled with insurance and prescription coverage at the beginning of the semester and had one bad cataplexy day, and they were there to listen as I felt all the mixed emotions. I am in the process of finding treatment for cataplexy so it’s a new adventure there!

Receiving the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship meant the struggles, frustrations, and hard days I’ve had with my narcolepsy were worth it. I remember asking specialists as an eight, nine, and ten year-old if I’d be able to drive, be a normal teenager, or go to college. Receiving this scholarship helped ease the worries of my younger self and proved I can pursue higher education.”

— Annie, studying Broadcast Journalism at University of Miami

“A nod to continue”

“My favorite class is a seminar regarding The 1619 Project. It challenges my personal beliefs and writing skills, and has an excellent professor and interesting perspectives from fellow students.

Managing narcolepsy in college has been great. A lot of people take power naps here, so taking a nap isn’t that out of the ordinary. I also have a wonderful roommate who lets me shut off the lights even if he’s still studying so I can get enough sleep. My medication is safely stored, and the RAs have been super helpful and supportive as well.

Receiving the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship was a nod to continue to integrate this chronic disease during the next phase of my life.”

— Evan, studying Engineering at University of Notre Dame

“Made me feel accomplished”

“I love the SAGES program. Discussing social justice and learning about diversity, the human experience, and existentialism helps me gain a wider view. It is discussion-based, and hearing others’ thoughts is great.

Not many people at college understand narcolepsy, so having to explain it to others is a chore. Sleep attacks have been hitting me worse and they come at the most inopportune moments. Despite these challenges, I am doing fine at school.

The Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship lifted a great financial burden for my college life, and being chosen to receive the award made me feel accomplished.”

— Jalen, studying Neuroscience at Case Western Reserve University

“I feel honored”

“My favorite class is Psychology 101. It goes into depth about many different areas of the brain and its functions.

Managing my narcolepsy in college has been somewhat easy so far. My schedule allows me to take naps throughout the day to help me feel energized. My roommate and everyone else here are very supportive and helpful.

Receiving the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship meant so much to me. I feel honored to tell my story to young people who are just starting their journey. It makes me so happy to have a support system, and I was able to pay for college necessities as well.”

— Bailey, studying Biopsychology at Monmouth College

“Extremely uplifting”

“My favorite class is Introduction to Ethics and Moral Judgment. My professor is very passionate, and I enjoy examining what it means to ‘live a good life’ in the context of various philosophical ideas.

Managing my idiopathic hypersomnia in college is not simple or easy. However, both my best and worst days help me develop a new understanding of my needs and how to address them. Investing in my rest and wellbeing has proven to be the best way I can show love for myself.

Receiving the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship reminded me of the power and significance of a personal narrative in cultivating awareness. It is extremely uplifting to have my lived experience acknowledged as significant and exhibiting strength.”

— Katie, studying Social Work at Hunter College

“Made me feel seen and heard”

“My favorite class is Psychology. My professor is really funny and engaging. More importantly, I get to learn more about the brain and how the mind works.

Managing my narcolepsy in college is kind of rough because I have to wake up early for class and sometimes stay up late to get work done. Taking power naps throughout the day to give myself a little energy boost is helpful. I’ve also learned to listen to my body more when I’m tired and not push myself too much.

I’m truly grateful for the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy scholarship because it made me feel seen and heard. It reminds me that I’m not the only college student dealing with narcolepsy. It feels good to be connected with people who I can relate to, and who understand what it’s like living with narcolepsy.”

— Natalie, studying Psychology at The Ohio State University

“People who have walked the same path”

“My favorite class is Linguistics. I love learning about the different aspects of how we communicate with each other.

In college, I am very fortunate to have supportive friends, peers, and professors who are understanding of my narcolepsy. I’ve worked out my schedule so I can take those all-important naps, which really helps me succeed.

Receiving the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship meant more than I could describe. I was beyond excited to be given such a wonderful opportunity by people who have walked the same path of living with narcolepsy. It isn’t always easy, but knowing there are people out there like me makes it so much easier.”

— Ean, studying Biology at College of William and Mary

“I am not alone”

“My favorite class is Intro to College Rhetoric. The professor makes lectures enjoyable and provides individual help for essays.

Managing my narcolepsy at college has surprisingly been going very well. My advisors, friends, and mentor are super supportive and helpful. Most importantly, I established a nap schedule which is key to balancing school and social life.

Receiving the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship made me feel heard and supported. Seeing the community of students who relate to me more than anyone pushed me even more to pursue my goals. This scholarship showed me that I am not alone.”

— Fernanda, studying Kinesiology (Pre-PA) at Texas Tech University

Made me feel understood

“I really enjoy my Media Literacy and Culture class because it makes me think about how the media I consume is integrated into my life. The engaging teaching and modern references keep me awake and wanting to learn more.

Within the first week of classes, I realized I have to set boundaries for myself. There are clubs I wanted to participate in that I knew I wouldn’t have energy for because of my narcolepsy. But I also realize I am going to be in college for four years, so I don’t have to try everything right now. Implementing the ‘don’t do school in bed’ strategy helps me stay on track and awake while doing schoolwork.

Reading about other Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship recipients made me feel incredibly understood and not alone. Just seeing the faces of other people my age who understand what ‘being tired all the time’ actually means made me feel heard as a person with a disability not many understand.”

— Madison, studying Media Production at Murray State University

“A sense of pride”

“My favorite class so far is Ethics because of the deep, thought-provoking discussions we have every time we meet.

I’ve been managing my narcolepsy very well because of the accommodations I have set in place with the University.

Receiving the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship gave me a sense of pride. Seeing all the other recipients let me know I wasn’t the only one working hard academically.”

— Collin, studying Kinesiology (Pre-PT) at Mississippi University for Women

“A whole supportive community”

“My favorite class is Intro to Psychology, because I enjoy the subject and my professor. I didn’t get a chance to take psychology in high school, so being able to take it now is cool.

To my own surprise, I am able to manage my narcolepsy fairly well in college. Taking naps whenever I have an hour or so of downtime between classes is beneficial for me.

Receiving the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship helped me realize there is a whole supportive community of people similar to me. It also gave me the opportunity to focus on managing my narcolepsy at the beginning of my college experience instead of having to work.”

— Raymond, studying Brain and Behavioral Sciences (Pre-Med) at Purdue University

“There are others going through the same challenges”

“My favorite class is Collegiate Success for Business Students. We learn about professional development skills and how to keep growing professionally in the business world.

With narcolepsy in college I’ve definitely had tired moments, but naps and my medicine really help. I haven’t fallen asleep in a class yet!

Receiving the Jack and Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship let me know that I am not alone. It not only helped me pay for school, but showed me there are others out there going through the same challenges.”

— Casey, studying Marketing at Central Michigan University

“Together, we achieve so much”

“My favorite class is History of Medieval Religion. It is so interesting to learn about how much religion has changed over time, and about the saints who were said to have mystical experiences.

Managing my narcolepsy in college has been a learning curve, but my professors, TAs, and peers are all wonderful and supportive of my journey. They understand when I need to take breaks from long lectures, and are eager to learn how to help me when I fall asleep in class. I feel incredibly blessed to have met them.

Receiving the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship meant the world to me. It made me feel seen as someone with a health issue many have never heard of. Seeing all the other recipients truly opened my eyes and made me proud that together, we achieve so much despite the adversities we face. I can’t wait to see future recipients and the amazing things they accomplish!”

— Kaylie, studying Astrophysics at UCLA

“Means a lot”

“Writing is definitely my favorite class. In high school it is what I struggled in most, but here my teachers are very encouraging and I’ve learned I’m actually pretty good at it.

Managing my narcolepsy has been so much better in college and staying attentive in class has been easier because of how engaging classrooms are. I’ve only dozed off a couple times, which is a huge improvement for me because I would fall asleep at least once every class in high school.

Receiving the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship means a lot because it removed some of the financial strain of college. I wasn’t able to receive as many academic scholarships as I would’ve liked because I struggled to maintain good grades in high school while I was falling asleep in class. This scholarship helped combat that.”

— Caleb, studying Business at Benedictine University

“Made me feel seen”

“I like my Women’s Studies class because it’s teaching me how to be a better feminist and see womanhood from all perspectives.

Managing my narcolepsy in college has been a major adjustment. I have to organize my day to accommodate my condition, but it has gotten easier as time goes on.

Receiving the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship made me feel seen. It helped me realize that although narcolepsy is a rare disease, there are people who are going through the same experiences I am.”

— Amayah, studying Microbiology and Nutrition Sciences at University of Alabama

“My success is not determined by my diagnosis”

“My favorite class focuses on theories and historical examples of leadership as it is seen today. I love my professor and my classmates, and find the content extremely interesting.

Disability Services works to afford me every accommodation for managing my narcolepsy at college and I have found real advocates in that office. I share parts of my story with close friends and have a flexible routine that fits my needs, which means I can live a semi-normal college life.

Receiving the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship meant my condition was not just a ‘disease,’ but an important part of what makes me who I am. This scholarship proved to me that my success is not determined by my diagnosis.”

— Sydney, University of Richmond

“There are people just like me”

“My favorite class so far is Music Theory. I find it very interesting and especially relevant.

Managing my narcolepsy has been better than expected in college, and I thank my doctors and medicine for that.

Receiving the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship not only made me feel accomplished, but also made me realize I’m not alone and there are people just like me who share my condition.”

— Jonah, studying Music Performance at Ithaca College

“A community by my side”

“My favorite class is Foundations of Reading & Literacy. We dig deep into how kids learn reading and literacy and how we will teach these fundamentals.

I am managing my narcolepsy extremely well in college. My nighttime routine is consistent and I am able to find time for naps throughout the day. My new friends have seen a few episodes in class, which they were intrigued by.

Receiving the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship made me realize I have a community by my side that understands my battles and continues to support me every step of the way. I have started using these opportunities and resources to create the best version of myself.”

— Callie, studying Early Childhood Education at The Ohio State University

“Support is out there”

“My favorite class in college so far has been my Honor’s Seminar. The professor is absolutely amazing and the classwork is laid back.

Managing my narcolepsy in college has been a breeze. I was able to easily transition and create a solid routine that meets all my needs.

It was an honor to receive the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship. It is so humbling to know support is out there for students with narcolepsy and idiopathic hypersomnia, and it helps advocate for us and raise awareness.”

— Halee, studying Human Health Sciences at University of Kentucky

“Extremely honored”

“I really enjoy my American Conversations course. It’s discussion based, which is my favorite way to learn, and I’ve made meaningful connections with my peers.

Initially moving in to college, it was difficult to monitor my idiopathic hypersomnia with so many distractions happening around me. I’m now settling into a routine and building a strong support system.

I was thrilled to find out there is a scholarship for narcolepsy and IH! I am extremely honored to be chosen as a Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship recipient, and I feel validated in my experiences in a way I never have before.”

— Emma, St. Olaf College

“Others who understand”

“My favorite class is Engineering. My professor is very cool and kind, and has long due dates for homework which makes it easy on me.

So far managing my narcolepsy in college is fine. No one judges me for having narcolepsy. My professors have been understanding with my disability, which I love, and I have benefits I haven’t had before.

Receiving the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship felt great because while I knew I wasn’t alone, it’s different to share experiences with others who understand.”

— Christopher, studying Medical Engineering and Biology at Southern University

“There are people willing to help”

“My favorite class is Christian Worldview. It’s cool to be able to learn about a subject like this in school!

I can manage my narcolepsy much better with my college schedule than I could in high school. I scheduled my classes for later in the day, which allows me to sleep in when I need to.

Receiving the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship means a lot to me; knowing there are people willing to donate to help so many kids who want to go to college and are struggling with narcolepsy. The scholarship helped me afford to go to college and pay for other expenses.”

— Jaden, studying Business for Secondary Education at Grand Canyon University

“Resources that help me feel less alone”

“My favorite class is World Religions, because the way the professor tells the stories is very interesting.

The hardest part of managing my narcolepsy in college is when I have sleep paralysis and sleep through my morning classes. However, I have figured out a system to get my homework done by switching between assignments often.

The Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship helped me by paying for school supplies, and also through the resources given with the scholarship which provide tips for managing my narcolepsy and help me feel less alone.”

— Breanna, studying Elementary Education at Northern Arizona University

“Validated and seen”

“My favorite class is Psychology, because it is very interesting to learn about mental disorders people live with.

With narcolepsy in college, it is a little bit difficult to wake up for my classes. I am able to work through this though, and maintain good grades in all my classes.

Receiving the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship meant a lot to me. It helped me purchase books, and I would have struggled to do this without it. It also made me feel very validated and seen in regards to a disorder I struggle to overcome.”

— Skye, studying Nursing at Elon University

“We look out for each other”

“My History class is wonderful. It shows a unique perspective on a commonly misinterpreted and misrepresented part of the world.

So far, managing my narcolepsy in college is going fine. I have the freedom to schedule when I take my medicine, take naps, etc. This is really helpful, as it allows me to strive to be the best version of myself I can be.

Receiving the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship made me realize there is a community of people like me, and we look out for each other. Nobody’s experience is as unique as one might think.”

— Franklin, Loyola University Maryland

“We all succeeded by getting this far”

“My favorite class is definitely Art History: Pre-Modern Global Perspectives. I’ve always had a hidden interest in history and this is one of the most interesting history classes I’ve taken! 

Managing my narcolepsy in college isn’t as bad as I thought it would be, but it has a habit of being pretty manageable for awhile and then hitting me pretty hard. When I hit a rough patch I worry about missing bus stops or falling asleep somewhere inconvenient. I try to stay on top of my medication to keep the drowsiness at bay.

Receiving the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship meant a lot to me. It was a great financial relief, but it also made me feel like I wasn’t alone. Seeing others with the same condition acknowledged by the scholarship made me realize we all succeeded by getting this far.”

— Kiya, studying Interior and Architectural Design at Savannah College of Art and Design

“I do belong here”

“I really enjoy my Cultural Anthropology class. It teaches me a lot in terms of life in general and living with an open mind. I love what I’m getting out of it.

With narcolepsy in college, I have early morning classes and it has been difficult! I try to keep up with my assignments, but with working and going to school full time I have to remind myself it’s okay to take a day to rest every now and then.

It was liberating to own my narcolepsy and be rewarded for something I work hard to persevere through. The Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship helped me realize I do belong here.”

— Alyssa, University of Nevada, Reno

“Confident about the future”

“So far my favorite class is Art History. We learn a lot about ancient art, and the archeology techniques used to recover it are fascinating.

With narcolepsy in college, I often get anxious about falling asleep in class. I don’t want to miss content, and having a few friends in class who can share notes is a great help.

I’ve been so grateful for the Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship! Receiving some funding was a great help. It made me feel supported and more confident about the future.”

— Owen, studying Media Arts at Bringham Young University

“My narcolepsy hasn’t changed my potential”

“My favorite class is definitely Intro to Java. I love working on the software projects that make up the majority of the course, which has been a huge confirmation to me that I chose the right major.

Adjusting to college with narcolepsy has been a bit bumpy, especially with figuring out a balance between sleep and studying, but I’ve been overwhelmed by the support I’ve found. The faculty emphasizes that they want me to succeed and help me wherever they can, and my friends ask me all about narcolepsy’s impacts so they know how to help me.

Receiving the Jack & Julie Scholarship was a huge source of encouragement in my last semester of high school, when my narcolepsy symptoms were at their worst. It showed me there are people who know what it’s like to struggle with narcolepsy like I do, and they believe in me. It is priceless to be reminded that my narcolepsy hasn’t changed my potential.”

— Emma, studying Computer Science at North Carolina State 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 156 scholarships in just nine years.

Special thanks to Jazz Pharmaceuticals and Harmony Biosciences, LLC for their generous contributions to support this year’s program.

Support Big Dreams

Project Sleep aims to release the 2023 Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship application the first week of January 2023.

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. 29, 2022 will go so far to support BIG DREAMS. Thank you!

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