The 2021 Bogin, Munns & Munns Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Scholarship has a winner. Incoming University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh freshman Ann Marie Gotthelf earned the $2,500 scholarship on the back of an essay describing her life with FASD. Even with the challenges that the disorder brings, Gotthelf has consistently reached her goals.
Ann Marie Gotthelf learned about her diagnosis just before she became a freshman in high school. Her parents explained to her that her birth mother’s alcohol intake during pregnancy had resulted in many health issues, including difficulty with executive functioning, petiteness, and even the ventricular septal heart defect she received surgery for as an infant.
“My parents felt I was old enough to understand the information they were telling me,” she wrote in her winning essay. “We talked about the challenges of high school that I could face.” But given a supportive environment and her indomitable will, Ann Marie Gotthelf excelled.
Ms. Gotthelf’s Accomplishments
The long list of accomplishments by Ann Marie Gotthelf made selecting her for the scholarship an easy decision. An active member of the National Honor Society, Tri-M, and the Thespian Society, she has also spent much of her time volunteering.
“It just makes me happy to see someone in need have a smile on their face because I helped them,” she explained in an interview with the scholarship team. Her volunteer work includes running a family room at a Chatholic Charities soup kitchen, fostering 44 rescue dogs to date, and being involved with a local drug and alcohol awareness organization, Maine Community Youth Assistance Foundation.
She and another student also mentored a group of 10 high school freshmen through her school’s Hawk Pride program. In a similar program, Hawk PALS, Gotthelf assisted and advocated for special needs students at her high school.
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Future Plans for Our FASD Scholarship Winner
In the fall, Ann Marie Gotthelf will attend the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh to begin her trajectory toward a nursing career. In her winning essay, she wrote, “By being a nurse, I feel I will be able to give back to children and others for all the support and care I have received in my life.”
Already a certified nursing assistant (CNA), Gotthelf realized her calling was to become a healthcare worker after taking a tour of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. At UW Oshkosh, she has enrolled in a program called Project Success, which partners students with an advisor to assist with scheduling and organization each week.
About Bogin, Munns & Munns
At Bogin, Munns & Munns, we established the FASD Scholarship to shed light on an important issue regarding alcohol consumption during pregnancy and its effects on the unborn child. We also wish to provide monetary support for students like Ann Marie Gotthelf, whose passion for helping others is evident.
Bogin, Munns and Munns is dedicated to welfare of others in their community, whether through FASD awareness, community involvement, or helping clients seek justice through civil litigation, personal injury law, or other practice areas. To date, BM&M has secured millions of dollars for those in need.