College sophomore Grace Knight was named as one of the most "inspiring" college women in the country, according to Her Campus Media. The site's full list includes 22 women under the age of 22.
Her Campus Media evaluated nominees based on a mix of criteria, including leadership experience, academic excellence and demonstrated passion for their cause. Knight meets all of the criteria, having spent much of her life working to raise awareness of cystic fibrosis, a genetic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system. Knight was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis as an infant.
She has served over 500 hours with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and helped organize its largest national fundraising event, the Great Strides Walk. To date, Knight has helped raise approximately $1.6 million for CF research.
Previously, Knight also won the Girl Scout Gold Award for her senior project, "The Tangles of Life", a compilation of poems written by CF patients.
The Gold Award recognizes girls, "who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through remarkable Take Action projects that have sustainable impact in their communities – and beyond."
In an interview with Her Campus Media, Knight explained that since CF patients are unable to meet with each other due to the possibility of cross-contamination, the book serves as a means to help "mend this gap in our communication through poetry."
Knight also discussed some of the unique challenges she faces with CF at Penn, including ordering her medicines on a monthly basis, staying active through exercise and attending important doctor appointments.
Despite these challenges, Knight said that her family and aspirations keep her moving forward on a daily basis.