Mary Grace B.

Graduate 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."

I was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at five years old. Ever since that time I have dedicated my life to staying healthy and keeping a strong, positive mentality. My daily routine (completing my breathing treatments three times a day, taking over forty pills a day, and taking enzymes every time I eat) is the most important aspect of my life. Staying healthy in order to achieve my life's goals: traveling the world and creating art, requires a lot of time and responsibility; however, it is worth the effort. In fact, in order to share with the world the importance of my daily routine, earlier this year I began a campaign called "The Sixty-Five Roses Challenge." Each day, from February 1, 2015, to April 6, 2015, I created an art piece which usually took me about six hours to complete. That same day, I attempted to sell the artwork for $65.00 in order to raise awareness for cystic fibrosis and money for a cure. I was able to raise a little over $1,500.00 solely through the challenge. My "sixty-five roses" collection is a graphic artistic representation of how I live my life with cystic fibrosis. The repeated "sixty-five roses" phrase imitates my daily breathing treatment and medication routine. The designs created by the phrase signify my ever-reaching desire for perfection. However, when viewed closely each piece reveals multiple flaws, and thus human imperfection and the imperfect human body.


Mary Grace B.'s Artwork

Mary Grace B.'s Achievements

  • Project Coordinator at Pelican Bomb (2013 - Present)
  • Founder and President of the University of New Orleans International Studies Association (2013 - 2014)
  • Secretary of University of the New Orleans Model United Nations Club (2012)
  • Program Development Assistant for the UNO BA in International Studies Program (2013 - 2014)
  • Program Intern for the New Orleans Citizen Diplomacy Council (2013)
  • Ambassador and Advocate of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Louisiana Chapter (1999 - Present)
  • Member of the Southern Political Science Association (2012 - Present)
  • Volunteer for the Gulf Coast French-American Chamber of Commerce (2014 - Present)
  • Member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honors Organization (2014 - Present)
  • Member of the University of New Orleans Honors Organization (2010 - 2014)