Golisch named recipient of prestigious Dream Award
In mid-April. Merrill native and 2017 MHS graduate Bailee Golisch- daughter of Kenyon Golisch of Merrill and Rhonnie Preboski of Mosinee- was one of only 22 college students nationwide, to be named a recipient of Scholarship America’s prestigious Dream Award. Scholarship America is the nation’s largest designer and manager of scholarship, tuition assistance and other education support programs for corporations, foundations, associations and individuals.
Created in 2014, Scholarship America’s Dream Award is awarded to students who have completed, or expect to successfully complete, at least one full year of college education by June 2019. The Dream Award is Scholarship America’s renewable scholarship program for students with financial need and who have overcome significant barriers to make it to college. Renewable scholarships are offered each year for full-time study at an accredited institution of the student’s choice. The awards will grow in amount each year, allowing students to receive aid throughout their college careers.
To say Golisch was excited, when she was notified her scholarship application had been selected for the award, would be an understatement.
“I could hardly believe it,” Golisch said. “I’m pretty sure that I just about screamed my friend’s ear off when I got the news, because I figured that there would be no way that I would get it.”
But Bailee’s post-secondary journey has certainly not been an easy one.
As the scholarship eligibility criteria alluded to, applicants must demonstrate having overcome significant barriers to make it to college. As she explains, Golisch has not only already overcome significant barriers, but continues to fight and overcome one significant barrier in particular… every day.
“As I started my freshman year of college I started to notice a lot of weird abdominal pain and an inability to digest most foods,’ she said.
“Since October 2017 I’ve been undergoing treatment and testing at multiple gastrointestinal specialists, to try and understand what’s going on with me. But there’s been no leads so far, despite going through several tests such as a colonoscopy, liver biopsy, and dozens of different blood work (tests).
“Basically, I’m in constant abdominal pain that flares up throughout the day if I eat certain foods, or if I don’t eat enough. or if I’m going through a lot of stress. I’m on a pretty strict elimination diet because of it and it’s made college life pretty tough at times. Instead of being able to focus on my studies, I have to find ways to deal with the attacks that come up throughout the day and how to find a way to get enough nutrition into my body.”
As a result of Bailee’s condition, she has developed a protein deficiency, which has led to additional health issues.
“Luckily I’ve had my dad and grandparents to support me throughout all of this,” Golisch adds. “They help me to cope each day and are always looking for more ways to help me function without worrying about it all too much.”
While the hurdles Bailee faces every day remain considerable, she is steadfast in her resolve to complete her studies at UW-La Crosse and fulfill her dream of one-day becoming a child psychiatrist. That dream also stems from past battles Bailee has fought and won.
“I know what a struggle it can be to suffer from a mental disorder, while still meandering through adolescence. And that is why I have chosen child psychiatry as my career,” she explains.
“After I complete medical school and get my MD with a specialization in child psychiatry, I plan on coming back to north central Wisconsin because of the great need for child psychiatrists in the area. I want to help as many children as I can who are suffering from mental disorders, and help them to feel supported during this time. It’s my goal to help these children better understand their mental disorders more than I did, and to help them develop coping skills early on.”
Headed into her junior year at UW-L, Bailee is majoring in psychology with a minor in neuroscience, as part of the school’s pre-med program. She is not only winning her fight with ongoing undiagnosed health issues, but doing so while wielding an impressive 3.76 GPA.
About Scholarship America-
Scholarship America is a non-profit organization that helps students fulfill their college dreams. Since 1958, Scholarship America has distributed $4.2 billion to more than 2.5 million students. The organization works with partners to lower barriers to a college education and give students the support needed to succeed. Learn more at scholarshipamerica.org.