Scholarship Application — 3 Min Read

2023 Empowerment Scholarship Awardees

Scholarship Application — 3 Min Read

2023 Empowerment Scholarship

Hidden Truths Project is pleased to announce the 2023 Empowerment Scholarship

Hidden Truths Project (HTP) is extremely pleased to announce our 2023 Empowerment Scholarship Awardees in recognition of their academic and personal achievements in the face of the challenges encountered in living with epilepsy. The Empowerment Scholarship recognizes and supports these individuals in pursuit of their future endeavors in the areas of healthcare, advocacy work, and the arts.

Zachary Weigand, Sr.

Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina

After my first seizure at age 11, I was thrown into a world of several different seizure types, neurology visits, medication changes, and EEGs.  I struggled to accept this would be my new life. Over time, epilepsy made me stronger, realizing I could face and overcome difficult challenges.

In high school, I became North Carolina’s teen epilepsy advocate in Teen’s Speak Up. This allowed me to speak with state and local lawmakers to advocate for epilepsy funding and research. My family and I also had the opportunity to talk on radio and news stations about the impact of epilepsy and the need for North Carolina to improve the environment for individuals living with this condition.

My future academic plans include studying Communication and Science Disorders at Appalachian State University, so I can help others whose lives have been impacted by conditions like epilepsy.

Nobody’s future should be limited because of this condition. I hope to be a role model for others so they know nothing should stop them from achieving their goals.

Robert Jon Myers

Bradley University, Peoria, Illinois

In 2013, I was diagnosed with epilepsy. I’ve been fighting multiple types of seizures, but I have never let it stand in my way. I have played multiple sports and was part of the IESA Homer Jr. High 2017 Cross Country State finalists. In 2018, I tried out for Master Chef Junior. In 2021, I published a compilation of short stories on Amazon with future sequels planned.

Currently, I am the lead writer for two video games, working with a team of designers around the world. I am on the Skills USA 3D Visualization & Animation team in school.

Epilepsy has definitely played a key role in my life. It has restricted me from some things, like driving. However, I have done the impossible before and will do it again. Nothing will stand in my way. I am an advocate for those like me with epilepsy. Most recently, I convinced the game development team to work with me on the impact of strobe lights on people with epilepsy in causing seizures, thus, making games less accessible to these individuals.

My goal is to be a game designer. I want to use my skills and platform to continue to be a voice for those with epilepsy in the gaming community and to bring enjoyment to players across the globe.

I’m excited to attend Lincoln College of Technology to further my dreams. The scholarship will help to pursue my goals.

Dallas Alcorn

Sacramento State University, Sacramento, California

One cold, early morning when I was 9, I was waiting for my mom to take me to school. She noticed I was acting strangely and staring oddly like I wasn’t there. After several more re-occurrences, a series of tests, and doctor’s visits, I was diagnosed with absence seizures. I was told that because of my seizures, I couldn’t do many activities that kids my age could do.

I attended a summer camp for kids with epilepsy. This week of camp was packed with memories with others who also had similar experiences to me. That week was filled with new experiences, new friends, trying new things, and doing activities I hadn’t been able to do before. I connected with other kids at camp who helped me understand I wasn’t alone with the problems I faced.

Since I discovered I had epilepsy, my life has been filled with many ups and downs. I never let epilepsy hold me back. I have since gotten my license, played sports, and made many more friends.

Dallas received CPR and “Stop the Bleed” certification, completed a work-based healthcare internship and community service internship at Highland Hospital. Throughout school he has worked at local community shelters.

In the Fall, Dallas will be attending Sacramento State University with a major in Health Sciences. His goal is to receive a nursing degree to help others with epilepsy. I want people to hear my story and teach the lessons I have learned from personal experience, so that they can overcome their fears. I hope that in the future, we can live in a world where epilepsy is not frightening, and epilepsy can be normalized.

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