Kelsey portraitHello again, and welcome back to Kelsey’s Corner! We are so happy that you feel just as passionate about helping these college students as we do! So thank you for reading.

In this newsletter, I’m going to touch base on the importance of college scholarships and how it feels to be a student with TS going to college.

First of all, to be a student who even goes to college is taking that next step to further your education (which can be very scary) but to be a student who has Tourette’s and made their way and has been accepted into college? Now THAT is an accomplishment; at least that’s how I felt when I finally got accepted…

High School was rough for me and I did not like it one bit. Not even the social aspects! I had friends, but had social anxiety often (but didn’t know what it was at the time) so even walking down to the bathroom by myself scared me! Or going into a store by myself, or exploring a new place, I always needed a buddy. Just ask my mom. I think until just a year or two ago, did I really stop asking her to come with me to even my doctor appointments. So thinking about exploring uncharted territories of a college with difficult curriculum, ummm, thanks, but I’ll pass.

Not to mention how expensive it would be!! When I first started applying for scholarships, there weren’t any to be found for students with Tourette Syndrome! It was a bit shocking since they had everything else under the sun you could possibly imagine!! I was also currently on medication at that time (thank you to my wonderful parents for putting me on it and paying for it! That stuff is NOT cheap…)  New area, new school, new friends, new teachers, new school work; it was a bit overwhelming.

When I got to school I enrolled myself (with the help of my mom) into the Adaptive Services at FGCU, where I got extra time on testKelsey_fgcu_grads, a note taker, and if I wanted, to go to a different room to test (which I did… once… but talk about feeling like an outcast!)

It wasn’t until I graduated college that I really felt proud of myself. Not everyone even goes to college, and here I went with a learning disability. I felt so good, like I could help change the world! Especially I wanted to reach out for those like me who may need a little financial encouragement to go to college — because having TS and taking that next step to continue your education (even when you dislike school!) is so very important and has shown me how successful I have been. The risk was worth it. And so are these college students we are striving to help!

–Kelsey Diamantis

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