Living with ALS is hard. With an ALS diagnosis comes an incredible financial and time commitment that often redirects funding and resources away from other large milestones in a family. One of Steps 4 Doug’s main priorities is to help provide scholarships to those families impacted by an ALS Diagnosis.
Each year Steps 4 Doug provides a number of scholarships to those whose family has been impacted by ALS. We receive hundreds of applications and try to fund as many scholarships as we can. There are a number of factors that go into awarding each scholarship, but the main considerations are level of connectedness to ALS, financial need, and academic aspirations. Even though we cannot provide scholarships to all applications, we thank everyone who shares their stories with us and wish the best for them and their families.
Former Scholarship Winners
Holly is a current professional student studying Pharmacy. She will be starting her clinical rotations this year. She was only 16 years old when her mom was diagnosed with ALS. This diagnosis was devastating for Holly and her siblings. Holly had to sacrifice in many ways throughout her high school and undergraduate years in order to provide support for her mom and her siblings. Even in the face of adversity, she has succeeded in pursuing her dreams of working within the healthcare system. Ultimately, Holly hopes to work in health systems at a policy level to affect change for patients and their families on a large scale. We can’t wait to see what she accomplishes in her career and are thrilled to support her educational journey!
Kim will be attending the University of Texas at Austin for her undergraduate education where she will be pursuing a major in Speech Pathology. Kim chose to pursue the field of Speech Pathology so that she could directly assist those that have ALS or other chronic illnesses. Kim lost her father to ALS when she was a freshman in high school. Her family was extremely motivated to raise awareness about ALS and started their own foundation called “Raise 4 Rolando” in her father’s honor. Even after losing her father, Kim and her family remain committed to giving back to the ALS community. Their efforts have been truly inspiring! Kim’s level of commitment and dedication to those affected by ALS is the reason we are thrilled to support her as she pursues her education!
Abigail’s mom was diagnosed with ALS when she was in kindergarten. Her mom was an extremely generous person who inspired Abigail to carry on her legacy of giving back. Abigail has volunteered for the ALS Association, Puerto Rico Supply Drive, Thanksgiving Food Drive, and A Giving Spirit Foundation’s Teen Council. In one of her most inspiring volunteer opportunities, Abigail served as a camp counselor for kids who have family members with ALS. Through this experience she was able to mentor and support young people who often feel that no one understands what they’re going through. Abigail’s uplifting commitment to service truly shines through in everything she pursues. She will be attending Wofford College this fall and is looking forward to figuring out how to apply her passion for service into her future career.
Alyssa has faced many hardships in her life, however, she remains resilient and positive. She has fought many uphill battles to be in the position she’s in today studying at the University of Iowa including her father’s ALS diagnosis. Alyssa says that her “entire life changed after ALS entered it”. Alyssa’s father was an extremely healthy and active person who enjoyed basketball and softball. After a surprisingly short 8 months from diagnosis, Alyssa lost her Dad to ALS in 2016. She has demonstrated an unwavering dedication to the ALS community by volunteering with the ALS Association. She wants to continue supporting families who are dealing with an ALS diagnosis by studying and applying principles of psychology. It is clear from talking with her that she is extremely passionate about helping others and wants to put herself in the best position with her education to have the greatest impact. She demonstrates so many of the values that were important to Doug, and we are honored to have her represent this scholarship!
Tessa is going to be a sophomore at Penn State this year. She is working towards a degree in Music Education with a minor in Special Education. She loves music and has played the trumpet, guitar, bass and clarinet! Tessa’s father was diagnosed with ALS when she was in middle school. It took her family a while to conclusively receive an ALS diagnosis. However, her father’s progression was rapid after a diagnosis was confirmed. Due to the fact that her family owns a campground, she had to take on a lot of responsibility to help with her family’s business and her Dad’s care. She felt that she had to mature very quickly at a young age to provide the caregiving her Dad needed. Tessa and her family remained resilient in the face of these challenges and even found a way to support the ALS community by establishing a fundraiser at their campground. Outside of the effects of ALS, Tessa has been through a lot of personal challenges. Tessa’s tenacity and determination are apparent just from talking with her. No matter what life throws at her she finds a way to persevere. She is a wonderful representative to carry on Doug’s legacy through this scholarship, and we are honored to support her educational journey!
Isaiah Douglas is studying Composite Materials Engineering at Winona State University. In High School Isaiah was a senior captain of the wrestling team, and participated in cross country, baseball, boy scouts, robotics, golf, trap shooting, skiing, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed (AWANA). He is an active member of his church, and has been on four mission trips where he worshiped, encouraged and played with the children in the towns. Isaiah also volunteered at the Rescue Mission of Salt Lake, the Utah Food Bank and Inheritance of Hope, a non-profit that works to help young families who are facing the upcoming loss of a parent with a terminal illness. Isaiah has been an advocate for ALS since his father was diagnosed in 2015. He has been apart of several ALS walks and runs to raise money and awareness for the disease. He even rode a snowmobile in Blackwood’s Blizzard Tour, where they raised over one million dollars for the ALS Association. Isaiah recently traveled to Washington DC to lobby in congress to further the cure for ALS. He said that he loves fighting for his dad because of his inability to fight for himself. Being the oldest child, Isaiah has had to take on many more responsibilities to help his family. He said that seeing his dad struggle is disheartening but his dad’s hope and outlook on life encourage Isaiah and everyone around him. Isaiah is passionate about finding a cure for ALS, and will continue to advocate for the disease and its victims. We are so impressed by Isaiah’s service to others, and his passion for advocating for ALS and its victims. We are thrilled to make him a Steps For Doug Scholarship Recipient!
Rosemary Dayton currently attends the University of Nebraska, Lincoln where she is studying interior design with an emphasis in geriatric and health care design. Throughout high school, Rosemary was a member of several different groups including; the National Council of Youth Leadership, the National Honor Society, the German American Partnership Program, show choir, choir, and she was on both the tennis and diving teams. At the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Rosemary is an orientation leader for New Student Enrollment and is involved in Alpha Rho Chi, the architecture professional fraternity, where she was the pledge educator, and interim Worthy Scribe. Throughout her time in high school and now, Rosemary has been a captain of two different teams fundraising for ALS and has volunteered at Special Olympics, Miracle League and The Big Event at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln where she led a team from her fraternity. Rosemary has had three family members diagnosed with ALS; her grandmother, great aunt and her father. Through her experiences caring for her father, she saw how difficult it could be for disabled people to maneuver through an able-bodied world. Her goal is to become a certified interior designer and use her geriatric knowledge to help design a variety of senior living facilities. Rosemary wants to design spaces that are beautiful yet still accommodate accessibility and universal design. She feels strongly that everyone should feel comfortable, safe and free to use any space as it’s intended. We love Rosemary’s passion for improving the quality of life for disabled persons, and are honored to have her represent the Douglas MacInnes ALS Scholarship!
Lauren Maurer attends the University of Pittsburgh. She is a pre-Pharmacy major and has a guaranteed conditional spot in Pitt’s Pharmacy School. Following in her father’s footsteps, Lauren plays lacrosse and was considered a senior leader on her team. Throughout high school, Lauren was a member of the Spanish National Honor Society, an officer in The National Honor Society, and a Peer Tutor Coordinator. She also played viola in the Orchestra and in the auditioned Select Ensemble. In her spare time, Lauren volunteered as a teacher’s aid at her synagogue where she helped teach Hebrew to children in the classroom. She also spent time volunteering at the the Jewish Relief Agency packing boxes of food for those in need. Laurens latest project was working with the Greater Philadelphia Chapter of the ALS Association to create a charity high school lacrosse game to honor her father and raise money and awareness for ALS. Lauren plans to dedicate her time towards finding medications to cure diseases. Her goal is to be working on a clinical trial for ALS, and she hopes to help put an end to the disease. Lauren was only 13 when her dad was diagnosed with ALS. Through her journey with her fathers disease she learned to recognize the simplicity of everyday life. Lauren said that while she is still recovering from the heartbreaking experience of losing her father, it has formed her into the strong, knowledgeable and resilient person that she is today. It is this outlook and Lauren’s commitment to contribute to the ALS community, that make us so proud to have her as a Steps For Doug Scholarship Recipient!