Each year, Berger and Green awards a $1,000 scholarship to a current college student living with heart disease. Our annual Heart Disease Scholarship aims to ease the recipient’s financial burdens and prevent heart disease from standing in the way of their education.
This year’s winner, Reannan Butler, is a first-year student at Dickinson State University. Reannan knows firsthand how much heart disease can prevent a student from excelling in school and social life. Because she was diagnosed with ventricular septal defect (VSD) as an infant, Reannan spent her younger years learning how to overcome the challenges heart disease presents.
Growing Up With Heart Disease: How Reannan Butler’s Heart Condition Affected Her Early Education
Reannan’s VSD diagnosis meant she had to take diuretic and heart failure medications before starting preschool. Being diagnosed with heart disease at such a young age presented a range of issues for Reannan. She lost her front teeth because of her medications, which led to a lack of self-confidence and an overall distaste for school.
Reannan dreaded attending class and interacting with her peers, eventually leading to a learning disability that deepened her lack of interest in school. However, once she discovered her love of softball, she became more confident and found a new motivation for attending classes.
Despite Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) Diagnosis, Our Scholarship Awardee Found Motivation in Softball
Reannan’s mother encouraged her to find events that would allow her to develop her social skills and make school more fun. This led Reannan to find softball, which quickly became her favorite activity.
After finding her passion for softball, Reannan worked hard to become the best she could be on and off the field. She trained to build her strength and became a pitcher for her team. Meanwhile, her confidence grew in school as she started studying hard for her grades, completing extra credit assignments, and communicating with her teachers.
“Over the years, I have learned to work with my learning disabilities while playing competitive softball,” Reannan says. “Softball also gave me the confidence that I needed on and off the field.”
Now, as a freshman at Dickinson State University, Reannan’s passion for softball, dedication to community service, and goal of becoming a dentist made her our ideal scholarship recipient.
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Strong Personal Values Are Part of What Makes Reannan Our Scholarship Winner
When Reannan isn’t playing softball, she gives back to her hometown and college communities. Reannan says she was raised to give back to her local community and continues to volunteer and work at fundraising events.
As a Dickinson State University softball team player, Reannan volunteers with her team to teach children how to play softball and sell fundraising items at university events. Reannan is also part of her school’s student body group, so she helps coordinate university events and plan team-building activities.
She also volunteers in her free time and works at local food shelters when she’s home from college.
Reannan’s Family Inspires Her to Succeed
Our scholarship winner says she is most inspired by her grandfather, who motivates her to do well in school and excel in her softball games. Reannan says, “I appreciate my grandpa and the work he put into his education and leadership abilities. Without his effort to break down walls and overcome stereotypes, my life would be different.”
Scholarship Winner Reannan Butler to Pursue Her Dream of Becoming a Dentist
Reannan was drawn to apply for our scholarship as she reflected on her life, education, and the adversities she had to overcome to get into college. Because of her lifelong struggles with VSD, she is highly motivated to continue her education and enter the healthcare industry.
Our scholarship awardee is pursuing her bachelor’s degree in biology and plans to apply to dental school when she graduates. Reannan aims to give back to her community as a dentist or dental hygienist and hopes to work at an Indian Health Service (IHS) facility. Reannan grew up visiting IHS facilities but didn’t see much diversity in their staff.
As a Native American, Reannan hopes to introduce diversity to the IHS, especially in a leadership position. “With a college education, I would be a future example of equal representation throughout our day-to-day lives in jobs, status, education, and social environments. I would also be helping by working in an Indian Health Service facility,” she says.
Qualifying for Berger and Green’s Heart Disease Scholarship
Our annual Heart Disease Scholarship is available to qualifying students with heart disease. To be considered for our scholarship, you must:
- Have a heart disease or a congenital heart defect diagnosis.
- Be enrolled or admitted to an accredited college, university, or graduate school in the United States.
- Have a 3.0 GPA or higher.
- Prepare and submit an application, a copy of your transcript, and a 500-to-1,000-word essay.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, and our firm knows how much a heart condition can affect a person’s life. Through our scholarship, we hope to ease the financial burden college presents to a student with heart disease.
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Contact Berger and Green Today to Learn More About Our Annual Heart Disease Scholarship
Berger and Green serves clients in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio. Our team of attorneys handles personal injury cases and Social Security Disability claims. If you were hurt in an accident or want to apply for Social Security benefits, call us today to learn more about how we can help you. We provide free initial consultations.
You can also reach out to us to learn more about our Heart Disease Scholarship. We’re glad to answer any questions you have about our annual award.