My name is Megan. I'm 23 years old, and I've had epilepsy since I was 14 years old. As anyone can imagine, being diagnosed with a misunderstood and life-altering condition is hard. It's even harder as an adolescent. Being in high school when I was first diagnosed, I faced a lot of bullying. I was excluded from activities, and I lost a lot of friends. I lost my confidence and independence. My entire world was flipped upside down. Even so, I pushed forward and put my all into graduating high school so I could go to college. I fought through countless seizures, depression, and anxiety. It all paid off when I finally graduated high school with high honors in 2016. I was then referred to the UCB Family Epilepsy Scholarship by our local chapter of the Epilepsy Foundation of America. I didn't think anything would come of it, honestly. I just applied and left it to fate.
When I received the news that I won, I was shocked and so grateful. The UCB Family Epilepsy Scholarship helped me avoid needing to apply for student loans. Without the stress caused by financial worries, I was able to fully focus on my schooling. I worked my tail off and ended up graduating Summa Cum Laude this past spring with a bachelor's degree in special education. I also have no debt related to my schooling! This would not have been possible without the UCB Family Epilepsy Scholarship.
I'm now settling in as a first-year special education resource teacher at a local charter school. I teach 7th and 8th graders, and I'm working with such an amazing team of teachers. I share my story with my students and even other teachers to inspire everyone to follow their dreams without worrying about their disability or medical condition getting in the way. I'm living proof that anything can be done so long as you set your mind to it and you have the necessary support. The UCB Family Epilepsy Scholarship was one of the supports I needed to succeed, and I was so fortunate enough to receive it. My hope is that they continue making dreams of going to college come true for epilepsy patients, caregivers, and families for many, many more years to come.
Thank you UCB for helping me to change my life for the better and start my dream career as a special education teacher!