South Florida teens awarded scholarships for dealing with multiple sclerosis.
BY JULIE LEVIN - Journalist for the Miami Herald
Sean Giblin says he no longer has the time, or the energy, to feel sorry for himself. The 19-year-old Plantation teen was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at age 16. The illness slowly sapped the coordination and energy he needed to run, and be a part of his beloved soccer team. The changes left him frightened and depressed. But as he comes to terms with his illness, that is slowly changing.
``I realized that why get down on yourself when you can have a positive outlook on the disease and try to help out others who are dealing with other mental or physical illnesses. Be positive, rather than negative,'' said Giblin, a recent South Plantation High School graduate.
In the fall, Giblin will take all that positive energy to Florida Gulf Coast University, where he will start college. He'll take with him a $3,000 scholarship, courtesy of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, as well as a special scooter to help him get around campus.
Each year, the group issues more than $1 million in scholarships to high school seniors who have been diagnosed with MS, or have a parent with the illness. Hundreds of applicants submit essays describing how the illness has affected their lives. Winners are selected not only on the essay, but also their academic records, leadership and participation in school and community, work experience, goals and financial need.
S. FLORIDA WINNERS
Giblin was one of only seven winners in South Florida, and 18 statewide.