Marianjoy Foundation Scholarship Hannah Thompson Make a donation to Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital

Marianjoy Scholarship Program

Hannah Thompson

“The scholarship helped me realize I wasn't alone. I realized there were people with challenges that still saw college as an option.” -Hannah Thompson on the Marianjoy Scholarship Facebook page at

Hannah Thompson is a four-time Marianjoy Scholarship recipient. Her courage and wits helped her excel at college, along with support from the Marianjoy Scholarship. Although Hannah was born with cerebral palsy, she’s never let it hold her back in pursuing her dreams. Below, Hannah shares her reflections about the Marianjoy Scholarship and what it’s meant to her.

“I received the Marianjoy scholarship for four years in a row. I graduated from Elmhurst College with my Bachelor of Arts in Communication. The scholarship was a blessing in many ways. On the surface, the scholarship eased the financial burden for my family which in itself was a gift from God. However, receiving the scholarship meant so much more. It told me that people supported my dream of independent living even though I could not walk and used a computer to talk. Suddenly, I knew I had advocates, supporters, and I knew my cheering section had just gotten significantly larger. People saw that I had a dream and they believed in it.

I was awarded The Lincoln Academy’s Student Laureate Award, National Student Speech Language Hearing Association award, and ended up being in three national honor societies. In my last two years of college, I started and managed a public speaking career encouraging people to “do their impossible”. I have kept up with my speaking and now have organizations that call upon me frequently to speak at their events. I just finished interning with Easter Seals DuPage and the Fox Valley Region in their Development department. While there, I created a blog that I updated weekly, wrote for their e-newsletter, and helped clients in their assistive technology department. I am so thankful for hands-on experience that will help me in future endeavors. As a long-term goal, I am thinking about being involved in Catholic ministry or being a freelance writer. I am deeply grateful for the Marianjoy scholarship program and look forward to making Marianjoy proud for a long time.”


JUNE 2013 UPDATE: June has been a good month for Hannah! Following completion of her internship with Easter Seals, she will be assuming another intern role at River North Business Association, in which she will be managing their social media accounts.

In hopes of inspiring others, Hannah wrote a blog about her college experiences at To read about her current achievements, you can visit





Amanda Fowler, four-year scholarship recipient, now works at Marianjoy as a marketing specialist and blogger for