Recognizing academic achievementin the rare disease community

2016 Recipient

2016 Recipient

2016 ACES Recipient - Britt


20 years old
Sioux Falls, South Dakota

High school:
Lincoln High School
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Graduated May 2014.

Augustana University
Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Entered fall 2014

Rare disorder:
Primary Sclerosing cholangitis. I was diagnosed with PSC and Ulcerative Colitis in 2009. Even though PSC has had an effect on my life, the impact is minimal. Of course it adds ripples to my days, but from the beginning of my diagnosis, I’ve known that I’ll be okay. I’m blessed with a wonderful family and a great support system.

Favorite subjects:
Journalism, religion, and art.

Favorite activities:
I thoroughly enjoy singing in the choir at Augustana. I’m artistic and love making homemade cards, and I love spending time in nature. My real passion is natural horsemanship. Natural horsemanship is a way of communicating with horses using love, language, and leadership instead of force and fear. It is like learning a new language, and it is amazing to witness the harmony and lightness that result from this relationship between horse and human. I also love cooking as my family is really into food. Our specialty is grilled pizzas with fun and unique toppings.

Academic and professional plans:
I’m expecting to graduate in 3 years from Augustana in May 2017, and I’m studying journalism and English with a business minor. My goal is to develop the essentials of writing and communication, so that in my career, I will be able to combine my passion for writing with my passion for horses. I hope to positively influence people with their horses and help them develop the attitude, knowledge, and skills necessary to build natural relationships with horses.

Proudest moment to date:
Rather than defining a single moment when I accomplished something great, I would prefer to focus on the many small moments that make me proud of my upbringing. I am proud when I stand alongside my family and delicately cast a fly onto the river, I am proud when my horse, Savanna, trusts me enough to lie down in the sand and stand with me on her back. I am proud when those I love light up with happiness after I make them a handmade gift or cook them a delicious meal. I am proud of those who have molded me into the person that I am and cannot help but feel honored to have such gracious people in my life.

How I found out I was the ACES 2016 recipient:
I was out of town at the time my dad opened the letter. He didn’t know that I applied for the scholarship, so at first he thought it was junk mail. He sent me a text saying I was awarded this scholarship, though he didn’t quite believe it was real! I can’t describe in words how grateful I am to Shire for granting me this scholarship – it is a huge gift.

Advice for students applying for ACES next year:
Let your humanity shine through in your writing. Show Shire who you are, what you love, and what you intend to do with the life you’ve been given. Think about how your experiences have shaped you into the person you are today.

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