Celebrating 10 Years of Student Success

Clinton Shard
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the AbbVie IBD Scholarship Program, and we are celebrating the milestone year by doubling the number of available scholarships, which means 20 amazing post-secondary students will receive a $5,000 scholarship for the upcoming fall 2021 semester. 

Ahead of the 2021 AbbVie IBD Scholarship deadline, we reconnected with recipients from the past nine years. Read on to see what an extraordinary 2012 scholarship recipient has to say about why they applied and tips for academic success!

Meet Clinton Shard

Clinton is a member of the first class of inspiring and ambitious AbbVie IBD Scholarship recipients with a passion for giving back to their community. He received the scholarship in 2012 while completing the second year of his undergraduate degree in business administration and an advanced diploma in marketing at Capilano University in North Vancouver, British Columbia. Shortly after completing his degree in 2016, he stepped into the world of business in the role of Associate Marketing Manager with AbbVie at their head office in Chicago. 

We chatted with Clinton to learn about his involvement with the IBD community, the role the scholarship played in supporting his post-secondary education, tips for applying, and his advice for students as they complete their degree while taking on IBD. 

Here’s what Clinton had to share: 

What have you done or are currently doing with the Crohn’s and colitis community? 

“I had the opportunity to participate in an expedition to Mt. Kilimanjaro with Rob Hill and the Intestinal Disease Education and Awareness Society (IDEAS) when I was 16 years old. I subsequently joined an expedition to Everest Base Camp in Nepal the following year. The purpose of both climbs were to increase awareness of IBD and demonstrate a diagnosis of IBD does not have to stop anyone from achieving their goals. I have also participated in various Crohn's and Colitis Canada events over the years, and shared my experience of living with IBD with various community and corporate groups.”

How has receiving the AbbVie IBD Scholarship affected your academic journey?

“Receiving the AbbVie IBD Scholarship gave me great strength in knowing the struggles I had faced as a person living with IBD has made me into the person I am today. The scholarship helped me in my journey to pursue a business degree and ultimately, work in a career where I help people who struggle with chronic illnesses as well.”

What advice do you have for students who are thinking of applying for the AbbVie IBD Scholarship? 

“Just do it! Applying not only gives you the opportunity to receive funds that support your goals of achieving a level of higher education, but also allows you to share your story with others who will look to your journey for guidance and inspiration.”

What are your tips for students living with IBD as they pursue higher education? 

“Despite encountering many challenges after I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease at the age of 12, I always knew finishing high school and pursuing higher education were non-negotiable to me. I just had to do it. If you want something, do not give up on it. 

It will likely be hard, and your journey will be different than others, but the rewards will be immeasurable. Do not be afraid to ask for support and be open with your educational institution with any requests for accommodation that you may need. It is important to learn to be an advocate for yourself as these skills will transfer over post-higher education.”

If you are heading back to class for the fall 2021 semester, we encourage you to take the time to submit your application today for the chance to head back to class with a bit of extra cash! The deadline to apply is 11:59 pm ET on June 1st, 2021.

To learn more about the AbbVie IBD Scholarship and submit your application, click here

Do you have questions? Reach out to us at info@ibdscholarship.ca

  • Canada has among the highest incidence rates of Crohn's and colitis in the world.
  • 1 in 140 Canadians lives with Crohn’s or colitis.
  • Families new to Canada are developing these diseases for the first time.
  • Incidence of Crohn’s in Canadian kids under 10 has doubled since 1995.
  • People are most commonly diagnosed before age 30.

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