We laughed, we cried, our hearts were full as we read the essays by our talented applicants for the 2015 Dollars 4 Tic Scholars Tourette Syndrome Scholarships. Enjoy!

Jordan M. Bernstein, 2015 Recipient, Dollars 4 Tic Scholars Tourette Syndrome Scholarship Sponsored by the Brad Cohen Tourette Foundation

I’ll never forget my neighbor’s warning as I approached his dog: “Don’t pet Chippy; he’s got ticks.” I was nine years old, and without giving it any thought I replied, “That’s okay, so do I!” That’s how I had learned to deal with the daily challenge of growing up with Tourette Syndrome (TS): openly and humorously.  Now, almost ten years later, it has become one of my life’s missions to educate others about this complicated and often misunderstood neurobiological disorder. [Read more here…]

Jensen Max Kaplan, 2015 Recipient, Dollars 4 Tic Scholars Tourette Syndrome Scholarship

As a person with Tourette’s, OCD, and ADHD I can say that my life strays from what most consider ordinary. While I go through everyday acting as if nothing’s different, I am constantly reminded of my disabilities. Reading has never been easy, rolling my eyes and looking away always made it hard to keep track of what line I was on. Falling asleep takes longer than normal since I tic until I’m finally unconscious. Every time I close a door or turn on a light I have to do it over and over. [Read more here…]

Bethany Anastashia Spencer, 2015 Recipient, Dollars 4 Tic Scholars Tourette Syndrome Scholarship

Life with Tourette Syndrome has been a roller coaster. I have only been diagnosed for almost two years and already I have been through so many ups and downs. However, I have learned many things through my Tourette’s. The most important things that I have learned is that it is ok to be different, how to persevere, and who my true friends are. I have met so many wonderful people through my tics as well. For example, I give Tourette Syndrome speeches to educate the general public about Tourette’s and I was invited to give my speech at the South Carolina Mental Health Commission meeting. [Read more here…]

Read on to learn about more of our impressive applicants!

Alexander Deeb Cagle

I was diagnosed with Tourette’s at about the age of five. My journey dealing with Tourette’s has changed over time.  When I was younger, it was just a part of who I was and I didn’t know anything different. The high school I attend (New Tech Academy) requires a lot of oral presentations.  I tried to hide my tics at first, but that was exhausting and eventually it became too difficult to hide.  I often present in front of engineers, business executives, community members, peers etc. [Read more here…]

Madison Taylor Ebel

Tourette’s is nothing but a blessing. Being diagnosed at age six, Tourette’s has always been a part of my life. Growing up, I always had a perfect understanding of what the disorder was and why I was not always able to control my actions, words and movements. To me, not being able to control these aspects of my life was normal, so I never thought of it as anything out of the ordinary. [Read more here…]

Tristen Curtis Michael Frampton

Life with Tourette syndrome is by no means easy.  It is by no means a normal life.  But it is yet still, not a different life.  We are all unique.  We are all special.  We are all important.  And most of all, we all deserve to be treated fairly, whether we twitch, or shout, or let it all out.  Life with Tourette’s was a challenge.  I got teased.  A lot.  Like everyone, I had good days and I had bad days.  Sometimes I got so aggravated that I wanted to give up.  I wanted to just let go and hand over the victory to the Tourette’s.  But I didn’t.  [Read more here…]

Marc Adam Haas

Living with Tourette’s Syndrome, in one word, has been amazing. This may seem odd but I am blessed to have been diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome. I am proud to share with others that I have Tourette’s and I’m not scared of what others will say to me or behind my back. I feel like my diagnosis has made me stronger and this is because I am able to fight through any of my struggles with my tics. [Read more here…]

Austin Charles Marler

My life has been a unique life. Every day since I was 5 years old I have learned something new about my Tourette’s. Having to deal with uncontrollable noises or physical movements has been a challenge for me. When I am in school I try my very best to hold it in so I don’t interfere with others learning. I face new people every day, trying to inform people why exactly I make the noises I do. I have to inform all my teachers ahead of time, including any substitute teachers I have. [Read more here…]

Tyler Brian Pigott

Contrary to popular belief, living with Tourette’s has not stopped me from living my life. If anything, it has pushed me to go farther and to do more. To give one specific memorable event in my life that was affected by Tourette’s Syndrome would be impossible. Everything I’ve ever done in my life has been affected by Tourette’s because it’s a part of who I am, but it doesn’t define me.  It makes me a better person. [Read more here…]

Savanna Kay Sultemeier

Ever since I was little, my life has always been about music.  I could play the trumpet, guitar, and piano even before I was out of the 6th grade and I could not imagine a future that did not revolve around music.  I love everything about this art, and the excitement that I feel when I partake in it by listening or performing.  Over the years, I found that music has had a relaxing quality that goes so far as to pacify my tics, to an extent. [Read more here…]

Allison Elaine Wilson

Tourette’s. In our society it is a dirty word, it is a funny word, it is a misunderstood word. I never would have thought one word could hold so much emotion for me. I never would have thought I would have to fight everyday to justify my condition. I was wrong. [Read more here…]

2015 Applicant Essay

When I was first diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome, I was ten years old and I had terrible movement and vocal tics. People didn’t understand me and came up to my face to ask what was wrong with me. It was hard to live with at first when people always stared at me and whispered about me. It also made my school work harder because it was always hard to concentrate in class.  [Read more here…]