AlexLiving with short bowel syndrome has been quite a journey over the past eighteen years for both my family and I. When I was born I was immediately taken into surgery to remove a large portion of my small intestine: a lifesaving operation. Since, I have been extremely blessed by a healthy and thriving life. I have learned much personal responsibility as a result of my condition and I am glad to say that I am yet another success story of SBS. Some important things that I’ve learned as a result of SBS are time management, and really getting to know my body and how I need to treat it to remain healthy. However, I think the most important thing that I’ve learned throughout my SBS journey is how lucky I truly am. There are so many others that have not had great recovery results of extended survival rates. With this in mind it is hard to ignore how lucky I have been. I am entering college next year as a freshman and plan to study business with influence in either sustainability or public health, or maybe both. I think that with these two career paths I could do what I enjoy and be successful at the same time.  Ever since I was little, giving back has always been a priority for me. I have been involved in my church youth group’s mission opportunities for a number of years as well as done service through Boy Scouts. I am very proud to say that I have earned my Eagle Scout rank, the highest rank achievable in Boy Scouts. This was extremely important to me because not only is it an admirable achievement but a test to one’s self as to what they can achieve with their own hands and mind. I led over 50 people to construct bird aviaries for a wildlife rehabilitation facility in Cave Creek, Arizona. This kind of service and leadership has influenced my future goals as well. I am attending Scottsdale Community College next year to complete my prerequisite classes before entering Arizona State University as a business student at the WP Carey School of Business. I plan to achieve education in sustainability or public health as well as business because these are my main areas of interest, but also have very promising career futures within the next few decades. If I were to be awarded the Hardship Award, I would use the money to help pay for books for my freshman year classes. I am contributing toward my education to help my parents out and I feel that this award would benefit me as well as my family greatly.