Alison Bixby is an exceptional student. A senior at Thomas Edison High School in Elmira, she is the salutatorian of her class and senior class president. She is a member of the cheerleading team, a Junior Rotarian, and a past president and secretary of her class. Alison has also contributed many volunteer hours at Arnot Ogden Medical Center in Elmira.

What may not be obvious about Alison is that she has had overcome personal adversity to accomplish all of this. “I think that the events in my life have only made me a stronger, more compassionate person,” she writes.

Alison is a winner of a $1,000 ZiffLaw Overcoming Adversity Scholarship. The scholarship is awarded annually to local high school students who have overcome significant personal hardship. It is administered by the Community Foundation of Elmira-Corning and the Finger Lakes.

(There is an additional winner this year – Pamela Miller, a senior at Southside High School. Pamela’s story is detailed in another post.)

Alison plans to study nursing and describes her goal as to become a geriatric nurse practioner. I think it’s a rare thing for a young person to say they want to help those who have had a long life. Alison says she feels that she “can give the one-on-one patient care that is needed at this age and build wonderful relationships.”

It’s a very good feeling to contribute to such a goal, especially one from a deserving, hardworking student.

If you know of a student who has prevailed despite adversity, encourage him or her to apply for the ZiffLaw Overcoming Adversity Scholarship. A complete description of the criteria for the award, as well as an application, is available on the Community Foundation website,

Thanks for reading,
James B. Reed, Esq.
Personal Injury & Malpractice Attorney
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
303 William St., Elmira, NY 14902
Tel. (607) 733-8866 Fax. (607) 732-6062
Toll Free 1-800-943-3529