2024 Award Essays

Beautifully Unblemished Vitiligo Support Group, Inc.

Ninett’s scholarship essay

Vitiligo is a skin condition that occurs in less than 2% of the nation’s population. Even though I only saw this condition once in my dermatology experience, I am passionate about educating others about the social stigma and lack of recognition attached to it. I believe that Beautifully Unblemished Vitiligo Support Group, Inc., is one of the non-profit organizations who are most deserving of a donation from the FSDPA. Located in Lakeland, Florida, this vitiligo support group strives to show appreciation and empower those affected by the disease. As part of their mission, the organization provides in-person support group meetings throughout all of Central Florida and South Florida. Additionally, they promote clinical trials, patient surveys, treatment options, and research information through their website, newsletters, and social media. Providing financial assistance to this promising organization is essential in order to meet many of its needs and goals. For instance, students with vitiligo are in need of classroom education in elementary, middle, and high schools. The funding can also be allocated to youth retreats focusing on acceptance, confidence, and self-esteem, as well as mental health counseling sessions.

“Beautifully” and “unblemished” are two simple yet powerful words that convey the values the organization wishes to instill in its members. Their mission is to not only inspire those living with vitiligo, but also to educate those who may not understand their skin condition. While the experiences of people living with vitiligo are extremely different, all come together on the support group’s website to highlight the beauty and rarity of their differences. Through my future goals of becoming a physician assistant in dermatology, I hope to be able to shed some light on those affected by vitiligo. I appreciate your consideration and the potential opportunity for growth and education at the New Wave Dermatology Conference.
-Kerstie Phills, PA-S

Vitiligo is a skin condition that occurs in less than 2% of the nation’s population. Even though I only saw this condition once in my dermatology experience, I am passionate about educating others about the social stigma and lack of recognition attached to it. I believe that Beautifully Unblemished Vitiligo Support Group, Inc., is one of the non-profit organizations who are most deserving of a donation from the FSDPA. Located in Lakeland, Florida, this vitiligo support group strives to show appreciation and empower those affected by the disease. As part of their mission, the organization provides in-person support group meetings throughout all of Central Florida and South Florida. Additionally, they promote clinical trials, patient surveys, treatment options, and research information through their website, newsletters, and social media. Providing financial assistance to this promising organization is essential in order to meet many of its needs and goals. For instance, students with vitiligo are in need of classroom education in elementary, middle, and high schools. The funding can also be allocated to youth retreats focusing on acceptance, confidence, and self-esteem, as well as mental health counseling sessions.

“Beautifully” and “unblemished” are two simple yet powerful words that convey the values the organization wishes to instill in its members. Their mission is to not only inspire those living with vitiligo, but also to educate those who may not understand their skin condition. While the experiences of people living with vitiligo are extremely different, all come together on the support group’s website to highlight the beauty and rarity of their differences. Through my future goals of becoming a physician assistant in dermatology, I hope to be able to shed some light on those affected by vitiligo. I appreciate your consideration and the potential opportunity for growth and education at the New Wave Dermatology Conference.

FSDPA SCHOLARSHIP Winner 2024

2021 Scholarship Winners

Children’s Alopecia Project

Hair holds a profound significance in one’s identity and self-expression, especially during childhood. Navigating through these foundational years with a condition like alopecia comes with confronting issues of acceptance, identity, and inclusivity. At the forefront of community empowerment lies the Children’s Alopecia Project (CAP), an organization dedicated to supporting children and families affected by alopecia across America.

Through CAP, parents are offered guidance with initiatives like the 504 plan, which assists parents in navigating educational challenges that children with alopecia may face. These recommendations include allowing children to wear hats in class and educating classmates on alopecia. The small things make a world of difference for a young child struggling to fit in. The CAP program also offers the CAP2U School Library Program, where the founder of CAP, Jeff Woytovich, personally visits a school to spread awareness about alopecia and donates books to the school’s library.

My favorite program that the Children’s Alopecia Project holds is CAP Kid Camps. These camps provide a supportive and inclusive environment where children can socially thrive around others with alopecia. These events across America offer a space for parents and children to connect with peers who share similar experiences with alopecia. These camps allow children to see that they are not alone. The best part about this program is that it is partially funded by donor contributors, meaning that children may attend free of charge.

By contributing to CAP, the FSDPA would be supporting an organization dedicated to empowering, educating, and enhancing the well-being of children with alopecia, ultimately providing a more inclusive and supportive community. Donations ensure the continuation of services and free programs for children. The best investments we can make start with the youth in our community.

-Keyana Mahallati, PA-S

Hair holds a profound significance in one’s identity and self-expression, especially during childhood. Navigating through these foundational years with a condition like alopecia comes with confronting issues of acceptance, identity, and inclusivity. At the forefront of community empowerment lies the Children’s Alopecia Project (CAP), an organization dedicated to supporting children and families affected by alopecia across America.

Through CAP, parents are offered guidance with initiatives like the 504 plan, which assists parents in navigating educational challenges that children with alopecia may face. These recommendations include allowing children to wear hats in class and educating classmates on alopecia. The small things make a world of difference for a young child struggling to fit in. The CAP program also offers the CAP2U School Library Program, where the founder of CAP, Jeff Woytovich, personally visits a school to spread awareness about alopecia and donates books to the school’s library.

My favorite program that the Children’s Alopecia Project holds is CAP Kid Camps. These camps provide a supportive and inclusive environment where children can socially thrive around others with alopecia. These events across America offer a space for parents and children to connect with peers who share similar experiences with alopecia. These camps allow children to see that they are not alone. The best part about this program is that it is partially funded by donor contributors, meaning that children may attend free of charge.

By contributing to CAP, the FSDPA would be supporting an organization dedicated to empowering, educating, and enhancing the well-being of children with alopecia, ultimately providing a more inclusive and supportive community. Donations ensure the continuation of services and free programs for children. The best investments we can make start with the youth in our community.

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2021 Scholarship Winners

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