Mason was a winner of a 2020 NJCTS Scholarship Award.
This was the essay he included with his application.
Looking back I believe Tourette Syndrome has played a part in my life since I was in grammar school. My hands were never still, always drumming on my desk and books as I sat in class. I was always a very good student however at Parent/Teacher conferences my mother would always get the same complaint: “The Drumming is very annoying”. My other tics didn’t develop until I was around 12 years old. It went from sniffling and clearing my throat to eye blinking. My eyes would get so overworked that they would be red by the time the day was over. My mother gave me to control it before taking me to see a doctor. When I would try to tell her how it felt I couldn’t put it into words. I know I have the tics, sometimes I can control it but it is very difficult and takes so much concentration. After trying on my own to get control and being unsuccessful the only other option was a doctor. I knew the diagnosis before the doctor opened her mouth to tell me.
I feel that I am a successful Tourettes story. I have never been ridiculed, made fun of, put down, or made to feel less of a person. I have always been open and willing to talk about it with anyone who would ask, and would always answer any questions that anyone ever had about it. I have been blessed with friends and family that can see past this diagnosis. This has never stopped me from doing anything that I set my mind to, as I am currently working towards my Eagle Scout rank within the Scouts of America. In addition to this, I play Ice Hockey and Lacrosse for my high school. Not to mention I put my “Drumming Noise” to good use and have been a proud member of the Steinert Marching Band for four years playing the marimba my Freshman and Sophomore years and the snare drum Junior and Senior years. Having Tourettes became a part of my life and I refuse to let a diagnosis slow me down. This scholarship would allow me to continue my dream of going to college to become a computer hardware engineer. I have always loved computers and electronics, and building them is my passion.