I am Shariese, an activist and advocate for under represented communities. I am a current doctoral candidate at Rowan University, where I study educational leadership. I selected the UCB Family Epilepsy Scholarship because it provided me an opportunity for educational growth and the organization itself reflected my hidden medical dis/Ability, and there were few scholarships for individuals that live with epilepsy. Although I was not accepted yet to graduate school, still the $5,000 donation helped me with my first semester, and UCB took a chance. As a graduate student, I have helped my community and motivated other students with disabilities as a mentor at the DREAM program at Mercer County College. I have used my voice to educate faculty, parents, students, and community about intersectionality and marginalized groups. I continue to train others about epilepsy awareness. While at Rowan University, I founded the Hidden Disabilities Alliance. I am a Rowan University 2021 recipient of the Excellence in Diversity Award and the new student representative for Society for Disability Studies. Although I continue to face discrimination, ableism, and microaggression inside and outside of the class as a student, I continue to motivate myself. Though my seizures continue and additional conditions increase, I do not let that stop me from motivating future generations of students that live with hidden disabilities. My goal is to become the head of disability services at a university and train faculty and students on diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Living with epilepsy
2018 Scholarship Winner