Congratulations to 2015 UFIRST Scholars!

FIRST is proud to announce this year’s 11 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

Government Gordon College Rawalpindi

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.”


 Ryan Balog
congenital ichthyosiform erythroderma (CIE)

LaRoche College
Goals and aspirations: “I would like to graduate college with my education degree in math and to become a teacher and to influence people's lives.”
Erica Fedewa
epidermolytic ichthyosis
Eastern Michigan University
Goals and aspirations:  "I want to receive my bachelor's degree in nursing and eventually get my masters degree and become a nurse practioner and get involved with FIRST."
Maria Gad
lamellar ichthyosis
Ohio State University
Goals and aspirations:  "I aspire to learn as much as I possibly can and use that knowledge to help those around me. I aspire not to let anything, especially ichhthyosis to get in the way of living a life full of gratitude and happiness."
Quincy Harrison
x-linked ichthyosis
The Columbia University
Goals and aspirations:  "I hope to become a psychiatrist and specialize in treating early-onset dementia and aiding teens with mental disorders caused by family related stress."

Elizabeth Joyner
ichthyosis vulgaris

Union University

Goals and aspirations: “I look forward to teaching whether in a classroom or as a youth leader. My teaching degree will allow me to be certified for K through 8th grade and I hope to use what I have learned to encourage children in this age group that they can overcome obstacles and pursue their own goals, whatever they may be.”


Jessica Lewis
lamellar ichthyosis

Georgia Regents University
Goals and aspirations:  "I would like to become a Clinical Nurse Leader. I would like to work as a flight nurse and make a positive impact on those around me.."

Austin Milam
lamellar ichthyosis

University of Colorado, Colorado

Goals and aspirations: “I want to attend a four year university and possibly major in Biology. After college I plan on going into a career in Plant Science.”



Kayla Murray
congenital ichthyosiform erythroderma

Stanly Community College

Goals and aspirations: “I want to obtain my Associate of Arts degree from Stanly Community College and then further my education at a four year university. I plan to obtain a master's degree in library science.”


Kyle Pappas-Adamson
epidermolytic ichthyosis

University of Kansas
Goals and aspirations: “I'm going to KU to study Sports Medicine and it is my goal to become an athletic trainer for a professional sports team.”



Makaveli Williams
pachyonychia congenita

Davenport University

Goals and aspirations: “I would like to go to college and get at least a master's degree. Make the Dean's List in college. “



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

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