Kiersten C.

Undergraduate Recipient

"Life can be a series of challenges or opportunities depending on how you approach it. As you enter adulthood, how have you conquered a difficult task to turn it into an opportunity? As part of your essay, please explain the significance of your creative presentation to your journey with CF."

Five years ago my mom, who also has Cystic Fibrosis, was placed on a ventilator. I was fifteen years old at the time and our roles reversed as I became her caretaker. This along with balancing my personal responsibilities such as school, extracurricular obligations and taking care of my personal health needs was a challenging time for me. Part of the difficulty was watching her slip away because donor lungs were not available. Thus, after my mom's eventual lung transplant and while still in high school, I became an advocate for organ donation. I speak at schools, churches, and community events educating and registering new organ donors. Upon entering college, I continued my quest by becoming a member of UF Donate Life, a student organization at the University of Florida dedicated to saving and improving lives through education on organ and tissue donation. I was soon elected president and I turned UF Donate Life into a well known student organization by implementing bi-weekly "Donate Life" campus events. I also began an annual "Tie it With a Green Ribbon" semi-formal fundraiser to support the efforts of UF Donate Life. "Tie it With a Green Ribbon" is attended by transplant physicians, nurses, organ recipients, and families of organ donors. My creative presentation is a collage of pictures from my involvement with UF Donate Life. The bottom right hand picture is of me and my mom, my inspiration, after the 2014 "Tie it With a Green Ribbon" event.


Kiersten C.'s Artwork

Kiersten C.'s Achievements

  • UF Woman Leader of The Year, 2015 - Honored as a UF Woman Leader of the year top 8 finalist
  • University of Florida Anderson Scholar - 2014, highest recognition bestowed on undergraduate students for their first two years of academic achievements.
  • UF Honors Program, 2012-present
  • UF Chapter of Golden Key Honors Society, 2013-present
  • UF Stomp the Swamp tap performance team member, 2012-present, President 2014-present
  • UF Donate Life, 2012-present, President 2013-present
  • UF Phi Alpha Delta Pre-law organization, 2012-present, Executive Board Member 2013-present
  • UF TA (teachers assistant) - Fall 2015 for the UF Philosophy Department
  • UF Health Streetlight intern, present-May 2016 - Streetlight is a young adult support program for people aged 13-25 living with cancer, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell, and other chronic illnesses. I work with fundraising and program development.
  • Boys and Girls Club, 2012-present, volunteer