Celebrating 10 Years of Student Success

Ann Weber
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 2020 scholarship recipient has to say about why they applied and tips for academic success!

Meet Ann Weber.

Ann is a member of the ninth class of inspiring and ambitious AbbVie IBD Scholarship recipients with a passion for giving back to their community. She received the scholarship in 2020 while entering her third year of medical school at the University of Manitoba. Ann leaped into the research community at the age of fourteen when she became one of 20 semi-finalists at the Google Science Fair. Today, the aspiring physician continues to demonstrate leadership as a Community Outreach Representative on behalf of the Rady College of Medicine, a class representative for Women in Medicine, and through her work with the Undergraduate Medical Education Support Team. She has also taken action to help fellow Canadians navigate the pandemic by assisting with screening and provincial contact tracing. 

Here’s what Ann had to share:

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

“I have been a Gutsy Peer Support mentor since last year, and this has been a wonderful opportunity to connect with those in the IBD community despite current conditions making that connection so difficult. The pandemic has definitely changed the landscape of programming and volunteering, but I plan to remain involved with the Gutsy Walk and social media engagement committee in the Winnipeg Chapter this year.”

How has receiving the AbbVie IBD Scholarship affected your journey?

“Being selected for the AbbVie IBD Scholarship deeply validated my experiences, and I am sure all recipients share this sentiment. A common theme we share is having this “invisible” disease, which can make everyday living much more difficult than it would appear. I am honoured and extremely humbled to have received this award alongside so many deserving recipients and applicants. The funds from this scholarship have substantially aided in addressing the tuition fees of my program. Most importantly, the scholarship process has enabled me to (virtually) meet incredible people from all across Canada.”

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

“Absolutely apply! There will be many times when you doubt yourself and your ability, but do not let that fear overshadow your story. Even after applying, personally, I doubted anything would come of it. Your application does not have to be fancy or have the world’s best-written essay attached. Just tell your truth as you best know how!”

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

“It is okay to be frustrated. It is okay to feel fear. Feeling those emotions makes you human and will make you a stronger person, I promise. Reach out for help if you need it from your local student office, and book an appointment with your family physician or gastroenterologist. Collect letters and resources that will help you as an individual succeed; doing so will lift up your family, friends, and community. When you go over bumps in the road, or go over a mountain, just be kind to yourself. Try, try and try again, and you will always get to where you need to be.”

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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