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Bipolar Disabled 16 Year Old Ashley Needs Government Grant for College

by Ashley Craw
(Bradenton, Florida, USA)

My name is Ashley Craw. I am a 16-year-old female living with my parents and two younger brothers. I am not married, nor do I have any dependents.

I enjoy volunteering with service dogs and taking care of children. I like to write music in my free time, I sing and play guitar.

I am interested in majoring in criminology and looking into law enforcement and law school as possible career paths.

I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder at 14 years old. After an enduring freshman year in high school, my parents became concerned with my risqué behavior.

I was dating boys, posting pictures on Facebook, and dressing in less than appropriate clothing.

After I let a man give me a ride home after school, they took me to see a physiatrist. I was diagnosed that day.

Over the years, my Bipolar has sent me jumping through hoops. Christmas of 2009, I was admitted to a psychiatric hospital.

I was cutting myself, saving pills to overdose and threatening suicide.

For one week I was in the hospital, working with doctors, taking new medications, and learning coping skills.

It was decided before I was released that I would be taken out of school and placed in the hospital/homebound program.

From then on, my outlook has changed. Although I have occasional manic and depressive cycles, I appreciate life.

With my family and doctors, I am taking steps to improve my life. I am not recognized as disabled by the government. I have never applied for Social Security benefits and/or grants.

I will be entering college in the summer of 2012, and due to my disability I will be commuting. My medication is expensive, so I will not be able to afford a car, gas or additional college expenses such as books, meals and lab fees.

Because I am 16, I do not have a full-time job. I watch dogs and babysit, but my main priority is doing well in school.

I am currently applying for grants and scholarships to get money to get me through college; I have no other sources of income.

I am in need of a government grant to further my education.

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