Birth Injury Scholarship Award Recipients
We are thrilled to present our Birth Injury Scholarship Awards to Michael Batts, Micaela Griffin and Stephanie M. All three winners exemplify the courage, determination and positive outlook that help one to meet the challenges of a birth injury head-on.
$1,000 Scholarship Winner
Michael Batts of Ft. Worth, Texas, received the $1,000 scholarship. He will use the funds to assist with his education in Accounting at Texas Wesleyan University.
Born two months prematurely, Michael was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when he was nine months old.
In his award-winning essay, Michael wrote that, “This experience has opened all our eyes to a whole world of people who have overwhelming disabilities and challenges, and what continues to amaze me is how positive many are.”
He added that living with cerebral palsy has given him “greater empathy for others, along with a deep admiration for people who overcome challenges. I’ve also gained greater confidence as I’ve accomplished things people doubted possible.”
$250 Scholarship Winners
Micaela Griffin of Winona, Minn. will use her $250 scholarship while majoring in Business Administration at Winona State University.
She was born with pulmonary stenosis and has permanently damaged intestines due to an improperly placed feeding tube; Micaela spent the first six weeks of her life battling to stay alive. She spent much of her childhood being questioned and teased by others about her scars, leading her to found an anti-bullying club at her school.
“It was infuriating to be seen as a sickness, not a person. However, over time, I began standing up for myself and seeking help. Anyone can take a negative experience and create a positive result. I truly believe that it is all about mindset and gratitude.”
She added that, “I focus on what truly matters to me: friends, family, education, animals, art and nature. I see my scars and surgeries as blessings that have made me stronger and forced me to see simplicity every day. I’ve learned that no one is promised forever so I live every day like it is my last.”
The second $250 scholarship winner, Stephanie M., is studying Business Administration at Bethel University in her hometown of Memphis.
Stephanie writes that, “I was that little girl that was made fun of simply because of who I was. I had just been diagnosed with a severe form of dyslexia, rendering it nearly impossible to read or write. I have quelled these hardships with the constant support of my mother and my passion for learning.”
In addition, she added that, “a college career has always been a motivator and goal in my life. Having a learning disability is a lifelong struggle. There is no cure; it will remain with me forever. It is simply a different way of seeing the world. Being dyslexic has been a struggle, but it is one of the things that has defined me as a strong, mature individual, ready to face whatever challenges may cross my path.”
These essays were submitted to Birth Injury Justice for our 2014 Birth Injury Justice Scholarship. As of Jan. 1, 2015, this scholarship is no longer being offered. We are honored to have received so many heartening and inspiring stories from all over the country. Thanks to all that applied.