Financial Help for Psoriasis College Students

Attending college or paying for any higher education can really leave your wallet bare. When you have psoriasis, expenses can really add up when you add in all of your doctor visits, medication copays, and buying anti-inflammatory/special diet foods. And if you’re a college student with psoriasis… well, let’s just say the bills can start piling up.

Cue the AbbVie Immunology Scholarship!

According to the scholarship website: “With this scholarship, AbbVie hopes to further empower students to pursue an independent life defined by bold decisions and unyielding determination.” Does this sound like you?

Before getting into all of the details, it’s important to note that the application process is open until 3 p.m. Central Time on Dec. 13, 2018. So, get moving!

Who is eligible for the scholarship?

If you have any of the following diseases diagnosed by a healthcare professional, you can apply for a scholarship award of up to $15,000:

And, no, you do not have to be taking an AbbVie medication. In fact, this is not even taken into consideration during the judging process.

Other eligibility requirements can be found on the scholarship website.

What is needed for the application?

Scholarship recipients are selected on the basis of community involvement, serving as a positive role model for those with psoriasis (or other diseases listed above), academic excellence and honors, leadership, letter of recommendation, and a 2,000 max character essay explaining how psoriasis (or other diseases listed above) has impacted your life. See the scholarship website for more details.

Think you won’t win a scholarship? Read on!

An interview with a scholarship recipient with psoriasis

Brittany Zeldow lives in Maryland and attends the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities to study finance. She was a recipient of the 2018-2019 AbbVie Immunology Scholarship and is using the award towards tuition. Here’s my interview with this amazing student.

How has psoriasis shaped your life?

Growing up psoriasis was always something I was ashamed of, I went to great measures to try to hide it any way I could. It stopped me from wearing what I wanted and participating in certain activities if I knew some of my psoriasis would show. Luckily, I outgrew this but it took a lot of courage for me to stop caring, and honestly somedays I still do and that’s difficult for me to deal with. In middle school I was bullied because one kid thought my skin looked gross and at an age where everyone is super self-conscious that was really hard for me but luckily, I’ve had an amazing support system of both friends and family that gave me the confidence to not let this affect me that much. I believe that with any negative situation it is important to focus on the positive parts. Having psoriasis has forced me to become a much stronger person, it has also caused me to not care as much about what other people think of me and taught me not to judge people based on what you see at first because everybody is dealing with something that you may not know.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from living with psoriasis?

The biggest lesson I have learned is not to judge someone because they are different from you, everyone is unique, which is what makes us all special. My whole life I have been judged by what my skin looks like but that doesn’t determine who I am and I think that is a really important thing because we all subconsciously make judgments about people before actually getting to know them which can lead us to make false determinations/generalizations.

How do you educate others about chronic illnesses, like psoriasis?

I have been the regional youth ambassador for the National Psoriasis Foundation for the past two years which has given me the opportunity to speak out about the disease and the affect it has had on me to family and friends as well as complete strangers who had no clue what psoriasis even was. Being involved in NPF has made me a lot more comfortable talking about my disease but it also made me realize how I can help other people going through what I already went through with the disease since I have had it since I was 5 and have been through most the ups and downs.

What do you wish people knew about psoriasis?

That it is not contagious, I’m not sure why people think it is, but that is always one of the first questions I get about it.

What would you tell others with a chronic disease (like psoriasis) about pursuing their dreams?

Don’t let your disease hold you back from doing anything and don’t let your disease define you. You are so much more than that and the world deserves to see that.

Like Brittany, you might be the next AbbVie Immunology Scholarship winner. You won't know unless you try. Apply, and I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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