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"It just makes me happy to see someone in need have a smile on their face because I helped them."
ORLANDO, FL, September 02, 2021 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Central Florida law firm Bogin, Munns & Munns has chosen a winner for the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Scholarship: incoming college freshman Ann Marie Gotthelf. She will receive $2,500 toward her education at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, where she plans on studying to become a nurse.
Adopted at birth, Ann Marie Gotthelf learned about her Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder diagnosis just before entering high school. In her winning essay, she explains that her parents also told her that her ventricular septal heart defect was likely caused by her birth mother's alcohol intake during pregnancy as well.
During a time when most teenagers are simultaneously dreading and yearning for the move into high school, Gotthelf also had to come to terms with her FASD. "My parents felt I was old enough to understand the information they were telling me," she writes. "We talked about the challenges of high school that I could face."
She did face challenges, but her parents were right to trust in her abilities. Now heading into college, Gotthelf's high school career includes volunteer work at a soup kitchen, leading Town Hall meetings for the drug and alcohol awareness group, Maine Community Youth Assistance Foundation, fostering 44 rescue dogs, and active membership in the National Honor Society, Tri-M Society, and Thespian Society.
Gotthelf's c.v. doesn't stop there, either—she mentored 10 students during her senior year of high school under her school's Hawk Pride program and also assisted students with learning challenges through another program called Hawk PALS.
During our interview with her, she explained her volunteer and outreach work succinctly: "I wanted to educate myself and my peers in alcohol and drug prevention," she said. Later, she summed up her drive to help others: "It just makes me happy to see someone in need have a smile on their face because I helped them."
After getting a behind-the-scenes tour at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Ann Marie realized that her calling is to become a nurse. She will study at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh this fall, where she will take part in the Project Success program for students with IEPs (Individualized Education Plans).
Bogin, Munns & Munns wishes Ann Marie Gotthelf a wonderful, enriching college experience on her path to becoming a healthcare professional.
Nationally recognized Orlando-based law firm Bogin, Munns & Munns has been helping clients through legal hurdles since its founding in 1979. The firm's more than 100 employees and attorneys have recovered millions of dollars for clients in cases ranging from real estate to bankruptcy law and personal injury lawsuits.
The firm created the FASD Scholarship as a way to bring more attention to the disorder and provide financial assistance to someone affected by FASD. At $2,500, the scholarship will help boost Ann Marie Gotthelf on her path to life and career success.
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