Congratulations to 2014 UFIRST Scholars!

FIRST is proud to announce this year’s nine scholarship recipients from the UFIRST Scholars Program.  Congratulations to everyone and we wish you the best of luck as you continue your education.


Atique Ahmed
lamellar ichthyosis

Al Hikmah Institute of Sciences

Goals and aspirations:  “I  have a clear goal to achieve expertise in chemistry that can make me able to produce such drugs which are important for the treatment of cureless [sic] diseases, ie AIDS, ichthyosis.”


 Hannah Allen
congenital ichthyosiform erythroderma (CIE)

College of the Ozarks
Goals and aspirations: “I plan to graduate college in 2015 with a bachelor's degree in psychology. I want to get a job in the human resources field.”
Sarah Beamish
Netherton syndrome
University of Delaware
Goals and aspirations:  "I want to be able to understand as much about life as I possibly can.  I hope that by studying biology and psychology, I will be given anwers that satisfy my curious mind."
Maria Gad
lamellar ichthyosis
Ohio State University
Goals and aspirations:  "I aspire to spend every day of my life helping others.  My career goal is to become a pediatric dermatologist that can help others with rare skin diseases and encourage them to persevere."

Elizabeth Joyner
ichthyosis vulgaris

Union University

Goals and aspirations: “I look forward to teaching or working with students in whatever setting God calls me to.  I can use a degree in education as a teacher in the classroom as well as a youth leader at a church.  Either way, I hope to be able to use what I have learned to encourage students and let them know they are all special in God's eyes and each one can learn in their own special way.”


Taylor Mahoney
ichthyosis vulgaris

Ohio Dominican University
Goals and aspirations:  "After college I plan to move to aq big city and work in fashion and entertainment.  I also want to share my story in some powerful way."

Gina Messer
lamellar ichthyosis

University of California, Davis

Goals and aspirations: “i would like to go to grad school so I can earn my Psy.D. then go on to become a licensed psychologist.  My goal in life is to help others and to live life to the fullest!”


Kathleen Smith
lamellar ichthyosis

Lawrence Memorial Regis College

Goals and aspirations: “I want to be the best nurse I can possibly be for my patients.  I want to work in the places that are most in need around the world and improve access to healthcare for women and children.”


Hannah Suda
lamellar ichthyosis

Bemijdi University
Goals and aspirations:  "My goals are to attend Bemidji State University to receive a BSN degree in nursing."



Mani Woodward
X-linked ichthyosis

University of Oregon

Goals and aspirations: “I would like to earn degrees in Human Physiology and Chinese at the U of O and then continue to medical school where I would like to pursue a career as a pediatrician or a dermatologist. “


UFIRST SCHOLARS was established in 2010 with a seed gift from Valerie & David Scholl.  The Scholls are grandparents to an affected granddaughter and wanted to provide an opportunity for affected students to advance their post-secondary education in partnership with FIRST.  Their inspiration is to provide the opportunity for students affected with a form of ichthyosis to achieve their highest educational potential. Donations are graciously accepted to help grow the fund.

Applications are made available on February 1st of each year.  Applications may be downloaded from FIRST’s website. Completed applications are due in March, with a specific deadline announced each year.  Scholarship recipients are announced in May.  

A committee of volunteers evaluates each scholarship application. The applications are scored using the following six criteria:

1) demonstrated academic ability
2) a written essay (topics vary each year)
3) extracurricular activities/community activities
4) financial need
5) recommendation letters, and
6) involvement with FIRST

Share This Page: