As Morelli Law Firm founder Benedict Morelli has said, “Although enduring and overcoming a [traumatic brain injury] is a major triumph, the obstacles that TBI victims must continue to hurdle can prove to be an even greater challenge.” That’s why we implemented the TBI Survivor Scholarship to help victims of these tragic injuries through their school years.
This year, Jenna C. takes home the $10,000 award. A psychobiology major at UCLA, with a minor in brain and behavioral health, Jenna suffered her second TBI when a stranger intentionally slammed his car into hers. The assailant then chased her away from the scene of the crash, pinned her against a cliff face, and was finally driven off by her friend Rudy.
The event left Jenna with physical wounds, a traumatic brain injury, severe emotional trauma, and PTSD. Though she is still recovering through therapy and additional resources, Jenna has rebounded from her injuries admirably. UCLA, said Jenna, has been extremely helpful throughout the recovery process.
“They immediately put me and my three roommates into emergency temporary housing and delivered three meals a day to us,” she wrote to Morelli Law Firm representatives. Plus, the school made sure she had available on-campus parking, assigned a caseworker to her, and offered police escorts to and from classes in addition to a Zoom meeting with the Dean of Students.
Jenna’s Commitment to Others
In her winning essay, Jenna wrote about how her trauma has only deepened her resolve to help others. “As horrible as this event was, I now am very confident in my choice to go into the medical field,” she wrote. “I have a strong desire to help others and this event gave me the clarity to know that I am on the right path for my future.”
Helping others isn’t just a lofty ideal for the future to Jenna, though. While studying to enter the medical field, she has also mentored underprivileged youth through the Bresee Foundation. Originally an intern for a brief spell in the Gang Reduction Youth Development program with Bresee, Jenna was granted an extended internship through the summer and into the new school year.
Her enthusiasm also extends to helping people stay healthy. As a four-year veteran of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, she has helped teach the martial art to students at UCLA. She is currently in talks with the Bresee Foundation about adding a BJJ class to its curriculum.
At Morelli Law Firm, we have seen countless individuals harmed by the actions of others. Many of our clients, like Jenna C., are the victims of senseless assault, and many have experienced TBIs. We are proud to help shed light on this debilitating injury and are immensely honored to provide Jenna C. with financial support as she continues to use her life to help her community.
You can read Jenna’s winning essay here.