David Cummings

In 4th grade I would be in class and my ticks annoyed and worried classmates who sat near me. “Is that you?” they would ask. I was self-conscious of my actions and still am. I hated how there was nothing I could do to stop it. When school got harder, the ticks got worse. But I’m proud that despite Tourette Syndrome, I still took AP and High Honors classes and was able to maintain a 4.0 GPA throughout high school. And now that I am in college, the syndrome is still there but I am still pushing through with a 3.9 GPA and dealing with all the responsibilities that come with being a Resident Assistant.

I have been able to overcome this disability with sheer will and support from my family, teachers, and friends. Having a steady hand is crucial as an animation student, but I also know that doing something I enjoy makes the impact of my Tourettes a little less bearing. One experience that made it a little more bearable was having an event at SCAD that I created and ran to help spread awareness of people with identities that no one else would know just by looking at them. I came up with the idea from my own experience with Tourettes and feeling better about knowing that I was not always the only one with neurological problems. The program went very well and students came up to me saying how grateful they were that they were able to share such personal experiences with everyone else. I truly enjoyed that and I hope to do more things like this in future programs while I am still an RA.

I have worked very hard all my life to make up for the Tourette’s having a set back on my education. However it’s still very stressful having to pay for college and know that I will be in debt. My family had a rough time financially while my father was unemployed. I had to take some responsibility in helping to pay for some of the bills while working in high school. Some of those financial setbacks are still hitting my family even though my father has a job again. My sister Elizabeth who will be a sophomore in college next fall and has been having to pay $41,610 for tuition each year at Towson University and my sister Katherine will be going to college in about a year. This all will make college very expensive for both my families and the stress of that along with the Tourettes will have great pressure on my college experience. The reason why I need this scholarship is so that I can feel a little better about my college finances and not have so much stress. With less stress, then my Tourettes can go down and I can focus more on my goals for being animator and telling stories.