Harvard-Bound McCallie Grad Doesn’t Let Type 1 Diabetes Define Him

  • Monday, August 10, 2020
Gus Buck
Gus Buck

Gus Buck, 19, isn’t defined by his type 1 diabetes. In fact, this Harvard-bound McCallie alum has a long list of accolades you could define him in several other ways: graduate of McCallie School, recipient of the 2020 Grayson Medal, student body president, co-salutatorian, volunteer fire fighter, cheerleader and history buff.

It’s because of his accomplishments and refusal to let his type 1 diabetes control his life that he’s been awarded a $5,000 scholarship through Diabetes Scholars, a program of nonprofit organization Beyond Type 1, as he prepares to continue his studies. He’s been granted a gap year by Harvard, and this year will work with his former history teacher to conduct research for an upcoming book, as well as volunteer with Historicorps in Colorado to help repair historical buildings and national parks.

Diabetes Scholars, a program of nonprofit organization Beyond Type 1, is awarding over 50 scholarships to students living with Type 1 diabetes this year. One hundred and fifty thousand dollars in combined scholarships will be awarded to the Class of 2020 entering their first year of college – a record total for the program. These scholarships are made possible by individual donors and partner organizations committed to supporting the path to higher education and students living with type 1 diabetes.

Diabetes Scholars is aimed at empowering success through education for people living with type 1 diabetes by offering scholarships to students entering college. Initially founded as the Diabetes Scholars Foundation by longtime advocate Mary Podjasek, the program has a vision of making diabetes an asset rather than a challenge in one small way. Since its inception in 2008, Diabetes Scholars has awarded over $1.75 million in college scholarships of up to $5,000 each. Diabetes Scholars became a program of Beyond Type 1 in 2018.

The Diabetes Scholars Class of 2020 is made up of 54 students representing 26 different states, selected from a pool of competitive applicants. These individuals are advocates, student-athletes, scientists, writers, mathematicians, thespians, leaders in their respective communities, and founders of their own non-profits. Each of them also lives with type 1 diabetes, a chronic, autoimmune condition that can occur at any age. 

"Students living with type 1 diabetes manage an invisible and demanding condition in addition to their schoolwork and extracurricular activities. It's our honor to award these exceptionally deserving students with scholarships in recognition of their efforts and in support of bright futures," said Beyond Type 1 CEO Thom Scher. "The Diabetes Scholars Class of 2020 paint an inspiring picture of the many ways people with type 1 diabetes live beyond their diagnosis. We wish them all the best as they navigate college and university." 

This year's scholarships were made possible by Dexcom, JDRF, Lilly, Medtronic Diabetes, and One Drop, as well as 16 scholarships provided by individual and family donors. With the support of scholarship sponsors, Diabetes Scholars can make a lasting impact on the future of students living with type 1 diabetes by providing scholarships year after year. One hundred percent of scholarship funds donated by individuals or partners are awarded to recipients, with Beyond Type 1 absorbing all operational costs associated with the program. Beyond Type 1 is proud to play a role in this, sponsoring five individual scholarships as part of this year's program, said officials. 

Diabetes Scholars scholarships are available to graduating seniors with type 1 diabetes entering their first year of college or university in the United States. Scholarship applications open in January and are awarded by June 1 annually.

Get to know the Diabetes Scholars Class of 2020 and explore Beyond Type 1 at beyondtype1.org.


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