Celebrating 10 Years of Student Success

Jason Isaacs
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 2019 scholarship recipient has to say about why they applied and tips for academic success!

Meet Jason Isaacs.

Jason is a member of the eighth class of inspiring and ambitious AbbVie IBD Scholarship recipients with a passion for giving back to their community. He received the scholarship in 2019 while pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology at Dalhousie University in picturesque Halifax, Nova Scotia.  The Haligonian is in the midst of completing the fourth year of the program that uses the ‘scientist-practitioner’ model that blends the ideals of research and service to provide students with a grounding in science, research, and clinical practice. In between his studies, you can find Jason meeting up with members of the community to raise awareness about IBD and hosting fundraisers for research and patient programs, or exploring all the East Coast province has to offer.

Here’s what Jason had to share:

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

“For several years, I have been engaging in personal fundraising for Crohn’s and Colitis Canada. Most fundraising has been tied to the Gutsy Walk, which I attend every year. I began actively volunteering with the Halifax Chapter of Crohn’s and Colitis Canada in January 2021, where I attend volunteer meetings and contribute to awareness and fundraising initiatives. Outside of volunteerism, many of my friends and family are a part of the IBD community as well. 

How has receiving the AbbVie IBD Scholarship affected your journey?

“I am very grateful to have received the AbbVie IBD Scholarship as it allowed me to continue my Clinical Psychology PhD in good standing. In particular, the scholarship provided me with additional financial security to continue my graduate research and clinical training in areas such as prescription opioids and psychological interventions for chronic illnesses.”

What advice do you have for students who are thinking of applying for the scholarship? 

“I think it is important to note that each person has their own journey and experiences with IBD and it can be very impactful to speak to these individual experiences during the application process. The AbbVie IBD Scholarship is a great initiative and support for students in the IBD community. Not only does it provide financial assistance to those who need it, but it creates an environment in which you are able to, in turn, network with and give back to the IBD community.”

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

“I would encourage any student living with IBD to develop and maintain awareness of your triggers to the best of your ability and more common symptoms in order to respond to symptoms when they arise. I would also like to emphasize the importance of seeking support if concerns arise, for example speaking with professors about deadlines or confiding in someone that you trust about your difficulties, as it can become quite burdensome to try to navigate your challenges alone. Finally, I like to remind myself that some situations and circumstances are not completely controllable with IBD such as pain, bowel movements, or emergency procedures. So, continue to find ways that you can take care of yourself that are more so within your control like eating non-triggering food, staying hydrated, promoting good sleep, and engaging in other activities that you find meaningful in your life.”

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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