Stories bring us together. Stories that help us learn that we are not alone, and that yes, someone else has struggled with the same thing we are struggling with.

As every year, we bring you, with permission, the scholarship essays from our student applicants. You’ll discover, as we did, the unique strength exhibited by our students. Each and every one has borne the experience of embarrassing tics, frustrating tics, and why-won’t-they-stop-WHY-ME tics. We exist to bring awareness and encouragement to these students who are becoming stronger every day as they learn work-arounds for studying despite the distractions of tics, and as they learn patience and acceptance of themselves.

We bring you some of the stories of our 2020 Round One applicants below, with more to come later this year. Stories that will touch you as they touched us…stories of strength and fortitude. Read on and see why we are so proud of this exemplary group.

David Leyva, 2020 Recipient, Dollars 4 Tic Scholars Graduate Student Tourette Syndrome Scholarship

The worst thing that ever happened in my life was back in February 2011 when I was 13 years old and diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome, a neurological disorder characterized by involuntary movements and noises called tics. I was also diagnosed with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), another neurological disorder consisting of [Read more here…]

Joseph Sexton, 2020 Recipient, Dollars 4 Tic Scholars TS Superstar Tourette Syndrome Scholarship

I have been asking questions my entire life – something I grew to appreciation. My teachers would give me awards at the end of the school year for being inquisitive and delving deeper into textbooks until I came to questions even they couldn’t answer. It was unsurprising in the ninth grade when [Read more here…]

Jason Ingerick, 2020 Recipient, Dollars 4 Tic Scholars Tourette Syndrome Scholarship 

Throughout my life, I have received the same question from both acquaintances and close friends: why do you do that? As long as I can remember my tics have always been fairly blatant as well as attention grabbing; ranging between small vocal tics and large motor tics. When I was young, I usually did not know [Read more here…]

Read on to learn about more of our impressive 2020 applicants!

Samantha Bretz

As I think about everything that makes me stand out as a person, the thing that protrudes to me most would be my growth mindset. I have been through an exceptional amount of challenges in my life, as I’m sure everyone else has, but my daily struggle with OCD, Tourette’s and anxiety is [Read more here…]

Easton Michael Brown

Tourette’s Syndrome is a condition that I have been diagnosed with since the age of 7. This condition has affected my life tremendously for over a decade. It has been hard to cope with the idea that I am different from everyone else and that not everybody is affected by Tourette’s Syndrome. Even though it was hard to cope with this idea,  [Read more here…]

Declan Carter

During the summer of 2009, my life changed forever after a trip to “The Happiest Place on Earth”. Videos at Disney World presented a repetition of behavioral traits too frequent and too out of the ordinary to ignore; these videos showed a young, bespectacled, hair bowl-cut, 9-year-old clicking, rolling his eyes, and clearing his throat. [Read more here…]

Max Holroyd

As I approach college, I wish to reflect on who I really am, as a student and most importantly as a person. The following is my story about my social/academic struggles in and how I overcame this with help from my friends, family and self-belief. [Read more here…]

Logan Nelson

When I was 8 years old, my parents began to notice odd movements in me. A turn of the chin, or a flex of my neck muscles accompanied by a grimace on my face. They became more frequent, and I was taken to a neurologist who diagnosed me with TS. We learned that it commonly fit with my other diagnosis of OCD, those symptoms [Read more here…]

Jared Stevens

Living with Tourette Syndrome has been the biggest obstacle in my life, but also one of the major catalysts in my development. My greatest challenges living with Tourette Syndrome were overcoming the social anxiety that came with revealing I had Tourette and surmounting the physical and academic impacts of constantly [Read more here…]

Ramon Tomas Torres

I’ve been playing sports basically my whole life, whether it’s playing a lockdown defender on my soccer team, showing up my dad in a game of basketball, or playing kickball with everyone in the neighborhood. I definitely wouldn’t be the same person I am today without sports in my life. [Read more here…]

Aidan Trevis Willis

Tourette’s Syndrome is a condition that I have been diagnosed with since the age of 7. This condition has affected my life tremendously for over a decade. It has been hard to cope with the idea that I am different from everyone else and that not everybody is affected by Tourette’s Syndrome. Even though it was hard to cope with this idea, I have [Read more here…]