Project Sleep awards 14 scholarships in 2018, totaling 50 scholarships in five years.
Today, Project Sleep is excited to introduce the 14 recipients of the 2018 Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship program. Recipients are graduating high school seniors who will each receive $1,000 toward their college education.
“The 2018 recipients are a diverse group of young adults with different interests and aspirations,” describes Julie Flygare, J.D., President & CEO at Project Sleep. “Yet they also have a lot in common — all possessing incredible tenacity and determination to pursue their dreams. Congratulations to this year’s awardees!”
The Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship was founded in 2014 by Julie Flygare and the Graham Family as the first national scholarship program supporting students with narcolepsy. Funds for the scholarship are raised through Project Sleep’s annual giving campaigns and gifts from generous donors. In addition, Project Sleep is extremely grateful to Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Avadel Pharmaceuticals, Harmony Biosciences, LLC, and the Hypersomnia Foundation for their generous contributions to help support this year’s scholarship program.
Fifty-one students from 28 states made up a very strong group of applicants this year. The 14 students selected accelerate the scholarship program to new heights, having now awarded 50 scholarships totaling $50,000 over the last five years.
“When we started, we planned to give out one scholarship a year,” says Flygare. “The community’s support has enabled us to help many more students than we imagined. We can’t wait to see where the momentum takes us over the next five years.”
Meet the 2018 Scholarship Recipients:
Colin was diagnosed with narcolepsy with cataplexy at age 11. At school, he has been active in Honor Society and the Student Athlete Leadership Council. In addition, Colin has played on the varsity baseball team for four years and has been team captain for the past two years. He plans to attend Indiana University-South Bend to study finance and go on to pursue an MBA. Colin will also be a member of the IUSB Titan baseball team.
Courtney was diagnosed with narcolepsy with cataplexy at age 16 after experiencing symptoms for many years. In high school, she participated in tennis, French club, culinary club, and was a member of the National Honor Society. Courtney is passionate about volunteering for Nebraska Medicine’s pediatric patients and coaching for the Bellevue Special Olympics Swim Team. She will attend the University of Massachusetts-Lowell to major in nursing and plans to become a pediatric nurse. Courtney’s goal is to impact the medical field through research, service, and by being an advocate for patients.
Daria was diagnosed with narcolepsy in high school, within two years of her symptoms developing. With education and a good treatment regimen, her grades have improved. Daria was inducted into the National Art Honor Society, is on the Honor Roll, and started a dance club at her school. Daria is a Narcolepsy Network Youth Ambassador and earned the Girl Scout Gold Award for her incredible work raising narcolepsy awareness in her community and far beyond. She enjoys drawing, baking, dancing, and listening to music. She will attend Morgan State University School of Architecture.
Hunter was diagnosed with narcolepsy in 2012 after experiencing symptoms for about six months. Despite narcolepsy, he is graduating from high school with honors in the top five percent of his class. Hunter enjoys playing baseball and basketball, hunting, and fishing. This fall, Hunter will attend Brescia University to major in business, minor in sports management, and play for the baseball team.
Jenny was diagnosed with idiopathic hypersomnia at age 14, after experiencing symptoms for many years. She was always “hard to wake up” and “could sleep anywhere.” In high school, Jenny was involved in drama, choir, leadership, student council, and was a member of five honor societies. She enjoys reading, writing, playing soccer, and going to the beach when she’s not taking a nap. Jenny graduated Summa Cum Laude with a 5.0 GPA. She will attend Florida State University as part of the University Honors Program to major in communications.
Joseph was diagnosed with narcolepsy with cataplexy at age of nine. While he found learning to cope with narcolepsy a daunting challenge, he genuinely believes that it was a humbling experience that shaped the person he is today. In high school, his caring family and teachers aided him on his way to graduating as a member of the school’s Cum Laude Society. In the fall he plans to attend Clark University, where he aspires to study political science and history.
Katja was diagnosed with narcolepsy at age 13 after experiencing symptoms for almost a year. However, she was able to maintain a 4.0 GPA in high school and took many honors and AP classes. In her rare free time, Katja loves to draw and read good books. This fall, Katja plans on attending the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and is excited to be majoring in Food Science and Technology.
Kaylee was diagnosed with narcolepsy with cataplexy at age 12. Since then, she has found treatments to help manage her narcolepsy. Throughout high school, Kaylee has maintained mostly A’s and is graduating with academic honors. She also enjoys art and has taken many art classes. Passionate about the environment and recycling, Kaylee will attend Ball State University to study environmental science. She hopes to make a positive difference.
Kelly was diagnosed with narcolepsy with cataplexy in the eighth grade. It has been a long journey with many treatments, doctors, and people helping her get to where she is now. Kelly is excited to attend Mars Hill University in Northern Carolina, where she will continue to play volleyball and further her education.
Mackenzie was diagnosed with narcolepsy with cataplexy when she was 10 years old, after countless doctor appointments and sleep studies. Mackenzie has excelled in academics, varsity soccer, beach volleyball, boxing, worship ministry at her church, and leadership positions in the many activities she takes part in. Mackenzie looks forward to her future as she aspires to become a physician’s assistant specialized in neurology. She will attend the University of San Diego this fall to major in behavioral neuroscience.
McCaylon was diagnosed with narcolepsy at the age of nine. Having narcolepsy has affected him in the classroom and in athletics, but it has not stopped him from doing what he needed to do in order to excel at both. McCaylon will attend McNeese University starting this fall.
Morgan was diagnosed with narcolepsy with cataplexy at the end of her junior year of high school after a year and a half of experiencing symptoms. Outside of school, Morgan enjoys photography and playing the piano, drums, and ukulele. She looks forward to studying biology on a pre-medical track this fall at Washington University in St. Louis.
Mykaylah was diagnosed with narcolepsy with cataplexy in 2013, after being misdiagnosed with epilepsy. She enjoys reading, comic books, video games, and animals. This fall, Mykaylah will attend Georgia Gwinnett College to major in cinema & media arts production for film and screenwriting.
Ryan was diagnosed with narcolepsy in 2014 at the start of his freshman year in high school. Several of his hobbies include playing and watching basketball, going to the gym, reading , and traveling. Ryan will attend the University of California, Los Angeles this fall and plans to major in business economics.
About Narcolepsy and Idiopathic Hypersomnia:
Narcolepsy is a neurological condition 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. Idiopathic Hypersomnia (IH) is a chronic neurological disorder marked by an insatiable need to sleep that is not eased by a full night’s slumber.