Part of GLHF’s mission is to educate the bleeding disorders community about opportunities and information that can benefit them and impact their lives. At the end of January, GLHF was proud to sponsor a scholarship program for both kids and parents titled Own Your Future: College, Career and Independence Workshop.
“This workshop helped people discover the resources and information families will need to take advantage of the educational, career and college-bound scholarship opportunities that are available to them,” said Kailee Frederick, Education and Programs Coordinator.
“Someone may be considering attending a 4-year or a 2-year post high school program, a non-traditional student heading back to school, or interested in pursuing a technical degree or career in the trades,” said Kailee. “This workshop was designed to help them navigate their options so that they can achieve their goals.”
The day started with keynote speaker Shelley Gerson, Community Relations, Biovertiv. Shelley covered exploring unique opportunities that may be right for each individual. She stated that students “have to know how to utilize their individual unique gifts in the right way. Educational opportunities are everywhere, you just need to know where to look.”
She also stated that the message to students these days is often that if you don’t have a 4-year degree, you’re out of opportunities. “Don’t buy into that. There are a large number of skilled positions that are available. It may be vocational college, technical college or an apprentice program.” Shelley’s message was simple. “In order to be happy and satisfied when getting a job find your fit and explore your options. Figure out what you want your life to look like.”
The day also included breakout sessions for parents and young adults including: Road to Managing Healthcare Independently; Navigating the Financial Aid Process; Insider’s guide to College Admissions; and Storytelling Tips and Advice for College Essays
In her first session, an Insider’s Guide to College Admissions, Christina Craig, a former Marquette admissions counselor, focused on what colleges are looking for in applicants. She pointed out that coursework and extra-curricular activities are very important. “That being said, your experiences and what you have been involved in with GLHF are very important – helping people understand hemophilia and how you are unique is incredibly powerful.”
In her second session, Storytelling Tips and Advice for College Essays, Christina showed participants just how important it is to tell their story in college essays. “You want it to be engaging and grab attention. Everyone has a story. The essay is the outlet for your story. If you incorporate your bleeding disorder in a unique way, that will grab an admissions counselor’s attention. Pick a unique experience you’ve had. Perhaps it’s your participation in Camp Klotty Pine or the Unite for Bleeding Disorders Walk. Don’t downplay your experiences!”
One participant said, “I never even thought about including my participation in Camp Klotty Pine. I led many of the activities for the younger children.” “Yes,” said Christina. “That’s what I’m talking about. That shows leadership!”
One participant commented that he was having “writer’s block” with his college essays. Christina encouraged him to make a list of all of the things he’s done, no matter how insignificant they may seem to him. “That was very helpful to me,” he said. “I realized that I do actually have a lot of things to share that I have never thought of.”
The Road to Managing Healthcare Independently session focused on the difficulty of transition. Suzi is a B.S.N., R.N. and representative for Shire/Takeda. “Transitions can be difficult. Teach children to understand bleeds, factor and regimen; and foster great healthcare independence as they grow.”
Navigating the Financial Aid Process, also presented by Shelley Gerson, Community Relations, Biovertiv, focused on how to balance the post high school education process. “There’s so much involved! How do I balance buying books, tuition, supplies computers, transportation and everything else that can add up?” They discussed the process of accessing financial aid: when to start, where to go, what you’ll need, the many choices available and some considerations along the way.
Shelley said to look for scholarships all year round. “If you aren’t happy with what they offer you for financial aid, just keep trying and speak with the financial aid office at the college you’re interested in.” GLHF also offers two scholarships that are available year-round.
Her tip for parents was to “work with your student to make a budget before their first year of college including direct costs like tuition and indirect costs like personal expenses and how often you may travel home.”
“We are so honored that we had a chance to help these students and families navigate the many options they have after graduating from high school,” said Danielle Leitner Baxter, GLHF’s Executive Director. “This is such an important topic for any student, but particularly unique for those with a bleeding disorder.”
GLHF offers four different scholarships for children and families with bleeding disorders:
- Education Scholarship (Deadline: March 15 – Award: $250-$3,000)
- The Jacob N. Shanberge Memorial Scholarship (Deadline March 15 – Award $2,500 – $5,000)
- The College Bound Scholarship (open throughout the year – Award: Amount Varies)
- The Career Develop Scholarship (open throughout the year – Award: Up to $500).
There are also a number of scholarships on the National Hemophilia Foundation’s website at https://www.hemophilia.org/Community-Resources/Scholarships!