Drake was thirteen when he was diagnosed with epilepsy. Ever since, he has made it his mission and his passion to bring about substantive change in the world for people with epilepsy. He has introduced CBD Oil bills to the Indiana state legislature and has created his own nonprofit, ThinkBrave, to fund scholarships for students with health challenges within his community. He will use his EEF Scholarship to continue his project of outreach and creating a positive impact for those with epilepsy.
In 2011, I had my first seizure. After a period of being withdrawn and depressed about my diagnosis, I began speaking out about my epilepsy. Through my efforts to speak out and raise awareness, I met with many legislators on the state and federal level. I also met many people who need a voice to speak up for them. More importantly, they need a CURE! While raising awareness is important and I will continue to speak out to help improve the quality of life for those living with epilepsy, I have also seen the need for research to help find what causes seizures and how to stop them. That would truly improve the quality of life for so many!
Ideally, I would love to help CURE on the legislative level. But for now I would like to work with CURE on two specific projects and anything they would like to include me in. The first is following a trend that many communities have engaged in. The “rocks.” You paint a rock and hide it in your community for someone else to find. I would like to do this on my college campus but with a twist. I want to do Research Rocks that have a fact or statistic about epilepsy and seizures on them. This will help raise awareness and educate anyone who finds one. On the back of each Research Rock would be the CURE website address for them to learn more. Second, is a project that would involve getting college students with epilepsy to join in and visit our Indiana State House to talk with legislators about how they can impact the needs of the epilepsy community.
The generous scholarship I received from CURE has had a huge impact on my ability to do the extra things in college such as study abroad. I am majoring in Political Science with a minor in International Relations. Thanks to this scholarship I will have the chance to study in Ireland next year for a semester. I plan on studying in a few other countries as well over the course of my four years. This is a very special opportunity that I feel very privileged to be able to take advantage of. Thank you very much!