The Kelsey B. Diamantis TS Scholarship Family Foundation, Inc., dba Dollars 4 Tic Scholars, a non-profit organization established in 2014 in Boca Raton, has just announced the recipients of its 2020 Tourette Syndrome Scholarships. Dollars 4 Tic Scholars awards college scholarships to students around the U.S. who live with the challenges of Tourette Syndrome. It is among the first non-profit scholarship organizations for students with Tourette. 2020 is Dollars 4 Tic Scholars’ sixth award year.
This year in response to COVID-19, Dollars 4 Tic Scholars implemented two rounds of scholarships: one which was awarded in July in time for the fall 2020 semester, and one just awarded in November in time for the January 2021 semester. “The two scholarship rounds gave students more opportunity to collect the materials that were difficult to obtain on campus due to the coronavirus,” notes Diane Diamantis, Dollars 4 Tic Scholars Co-founder and President. “It was our way of letting the students know we recognized their difficulties. We also have a committed Scholarship Selection Committee, and we are grateful for their work twice in one year to evaluate the student applications.”
The Round 1 scholarship recipients include:
- David Leyva of Flushing, NY — Recipient of the “2020 Dollars 4 Tic Scholars Grad Student Tourette Syndrome Scholarship” in the amount of $1,500.00. As an incoming first year graduate student this year, David is pursuing his master’s degree in Interactive Telecommunications at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in Brooklyn, NY. He plans to become a professional game designer and develop games and technology to help society for the greater good.
- Joseph Sexton of Cumming, GA — Recipient of the “2020 Dollars 4 Tic Scholars TS Superstar Tourette Syndrome Scholarship” in the amount of $2,000.00. The TS Superstar Scholarship recognizes a student who has spread awareness of Tourette Syndrome in his community. This fall, Joseph will be a sophomore at Vanderbilt University, in Nashville, TN. He has a double major in Psychology and Medicine, Health & Society and a double minor in Mathematics and Quantitative Methods. His goal is to research trends and study the intersection of statistics and psychological phenomena, potentially with a career in psychiatric epidemiology for a public health organization.
- Jason Ingerick of Arden, NC — Recipient of the “2020 Dollars 4 Tic Scholars Tourette Syndrome Scholarship” in the amount of $1,500.00. Jason is a fourth-year recipient and is attending Northeastern University, Boston, MA as a senior, and continuing his major in Chemistry with a minor in Mathematics. After he graduates, Jason plans to spend a year continuing lab research in chemistry at Massachusetts General Hospital and continue working as an EMT in Boston. Afterward, he plans to attend medical school with the ultimate goal of becoming a neurosurgeon.
The Round 2 scholarship recipients include:
- Jeremiah Zimmerman of Lincoln, NE — Recipient of the “2020 Dollars 4 Tic Scholars Tourette Syndrome Scholarship” in the amount of $1500.00. Jeremiah is a second time recipient of the scholarship. He is a sophomore at Dakota State University where he is a member of the baseball team. Jeremiah is studying a curriculum in General Studies with emphasis in education and is considering a career in ministry.
- Declan Carter of Windermere, FL – Recipient of the “2020 Dollars 4 Tic Scholars Tourette Syndrome Scholarship sponsored by the Brad Cohen Tourette Foundation” in the amount of $1,000.00. Declan attends the University of Central Florida as a freshman where he is pursuing a major in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Computer Science.
- Taylore Ashton of Brady, TX – Recipient of the “2020 Dollars 4 Tic Scholars Tourette Syndrome Scholarship” in the amount of $750.00. Taylor is a second time recipient. She is a sophomore at Texas Tech University majoring in Animal Science with a minor in Agribusiness. Her career goals include going to vet school or pursuing a doctorate program in equine genetics or nutrition.
- Andrew “Drew” Guise of Eureka, MO — Recipient of the “2020 Dollars 4 Tic Scholars Tourette Syndrome Scholarship” in the amount of $500. A senior at University of Missouri – Columbia, Drew will earn a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education next spring. Drew has helped spread awareness of Tourette Syndrome through participation in the Tourette Syndrome Youth Ambassador program where he spread positive messages to students across Missouri.
The Dollars 4 Tic Scholars scholarship program received scholarship applications from students around the country in response to its offering. Essays from the applicants which tell stories about their experience as a person with Tourette Syndrome are posted to the organization’s website to help others who may be experiencing a life with Tourette.
Dollars 4 Tic Scholars Vice President Kelsey Padilla noted, “It has been really tough this year with Covid, and we wanted these amazing students to have the opportunity to still apply, especially in this time of need. We received so many great applications and it is always tough choosing winners, but these students deserve these scholarships! They stood out above the rest and we are just thankful to be able to help them. As always, our recipients display a remarkable dedication to their academics, and demonstrate leadeWe are excited about our students this year. As always, our recipients display a remarkable dedication to their academics, and demonstrate leadership and courage as they pursue their educational goals.”
Tourette Syndrome is a neurological disorder characterized by chronic and involuntary motor and vocal tics which may hinder a student’s learning, absorption of material, and focus.
In addition to college scholarships, Dollars 4 Tic Scholars supports younger children ages 7 to 17 by sponsoring two children every summer to attend Tourette Syndrome Summer Camp.
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