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.