For DonorsFor Applicants

Joseph A. Terbrack ALS Memorial Scholarship Fund

2 winners, $500 each
Application Deadline
May 1, 2025
Winners Announced
Jun 1, 2025
Education Level
High School
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
High school student
3.0 or higher
Impacted by ALS (personally, through a family member, etc.)

Joseph A. Terbrack was a beloved son, brother, husband and father who recently passed away from ALS.

ALS, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, claims thousands of lives each year, leaving a hole in many families. ALS changes the fabric of many relationships, making an impact on the friends, family, and loved ones of those who are afflicted while being a traumatizing and ultimately fatal experience for the person who is diagnosed. 

This scholarship aims to uplift and support students who have been impacted by ALS, so they have the strength and resources necessary to continue pursuing their dreams. 

Any high school student who has at least a 3.0 GPA and has been affected by ALS may apply for this scholarship.

To apply, tell us how ALS has impacted your life, what you’ve learned from your experience, and how you hope to move forward to help other people.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Drive, Impact
Published June 25, 2024
Essay Topic

How has ALS impacted your life? What have you learned from your experience and how do you want to move forward in life to help others?

400–600 words

Winning Application

Avrie Schaschwary
Abeka Academy: Homeschool ProgramHartford, WI
The greatest challenge I have ever faced began in October of 2018 when my father arrived home from work and told me that he had been diagnosed with ALS. From then on, my life was forever changed. The four years that my father was sick affected me in numerous ways and taught me several things that have helped me grow into the person I am today. My father’s illness affected my life in several ways. First, it put me in charge of new and difficult tasks. While in the first few months my father was able to maintain a somewhat normal life, he eventually lost control of his limbs and was confined to a hospital bed in our living room. As his caretakers, my mother and I had to bathe him, take him to the bathroom, monitor his oxygen mask, and hand-feed him. These tasks grew increasingly difficult as my father’s sickness worsened, and there were several times when I had to care for him entirely on my own. In addition to these new and sometimes frightening tasks, ALS also affected my ability to connect with the outside world. We couldn’t go far in the fear that my father would need help in our absence. When we did manage to leave, I found myself dreading what my father’s condition would be when we came back home. It was a period of relentless work and anxiety for my family, but not everything was negative. While living with an ALS patient was terrifying, it did teach me some important lessons. Through my experience with ALS, I learned how to solve problems using a calm, rational approach. For example, early on in his illness, my father fell and hit his head. Unable to breathe or get up on his own, he frantically called for help. By remaining calm, we were able to lift my father to safety, while also ensuring that he was breathing properly. Living with ALS also taught me how to handle change. Each new stage of my father’s illness required my family to create new systems to care for him. While this caused frustration and anger at first, we eventually became accustomed to adjusting our lives. Communication became essential, and we often came together as a family to discuss possible changes that would be occurring in the future. There were times when we felt afraid and unsure, but it was during those times that I learned how to overcome my fears and trust that, with hard work and determination, my family could make it through any trial we faced. Living with an ALS patient taught me many things that have helped me to mature into a young woman. While there were times of sadness and difficulty, I was able to work through them with my family at my side. Two weeks after my father died I had a dream about him. In the dream I was nine years old again, standing on stage at my very first dance competition. When I looked out into the crowd, I saw my father. He lifted his arms and shouted: “I am proud of you!” Because of my struggles with ALS, I have hope for a brighter future- not only to make myself proud, but also to make my father proud. I want to earn a degree in history so that I can educate others about the history of diseases such as ALS. I hope that by educating others about the past, we will be able to improve upon the future, and hopefully find a cure for this terrible disease.
Kaiti Nutt
Hartsville Senior High SchoolHARTSVILLE, SC
Saying my family background affects the way I see the world is a huge understatement. You see, my father was diagnosed with ALS 7.5 years ago. My dad has always been the one person on Earth I am closest to. When I was younger, he tried shielding me from how sick he was and how sick he would become. In our society, where technology is so readily available, it did not take long for me to discover the average lifespan for someone with ALS is 2-5 years. I do not think most kids have to live knowing their father will likely not be there when the graduate from high school. We start thinking about our wedding day as little girls. Unlike my peers though, I in high school often thought about how my dad would not be there to walk me down the isle. In addition to looking to the future, I have had to deal with the present. My dad is the most outgoing and athletic man I have ever known. Thanks to his influence, I am a runner. We actually used to run together almost every day. Ove time though, he has lost the ability to speak, use his arms and hands, dress himself, feed himself, sleep without assistance from a breathing machine, or walk without fear of falling and hitting his head. So yes, my family background has definitely affected the way I see the world. It has at times made me angry and sad. I am ashamed to have at times hoped and prayed for a normal life. While I try helping him with feedings, getting dressed, and other things he needs, the truth of the matter though is that he helps me more than I help him. He has done that by somehow always staying positive and demonstrating a strong faith in God. He has taught me life can be cruel and does not always work out like you planned, but you have to focus on and celebrate the blessings in your life rather than allowing yourself to be drowned by the negative things experienced in life. If I am ever blessed to have a son, there is little doubt he will share my father’s name of David. Despite the cards life deals me, I hope to have a similar perspective on life and hope to teach him how to navigate it much the way my dad taught me. In regards to how I plan to make a difference in my field of study, I plan on majoring in Biological Sciences before moving on to study Physical Therapy at MUSC. My dad’s influence of physical activity and sport certainly plays a role in what I plan to do. More so though is the indirect influence of watching his body decline. I saw how much physical therapy helped him and want to myself help once strong / healthy people regain some mobility, pride, and quality of life. While I do not ever think I can match my father’s mental strength, he can live on through me as I work to make a difference in the world.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is May 1, 2025. Winners will be announced on Jun 1, 2025.