Friday, March 25, 2011
Truman Scholarship Finalist Defies the Odds
HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- Every time a door closes, Marie Holowach touches her left shoulder with her right hand. The ritual is not optional.
"If I don't put my hand on my shoulder, I feel like I'm going to die right now - or something else bad is going to happen," she explained.
Holowach, 21, is a highly functioning, highly successful 4.0 student at the University of Southern Mississippi. She's a Presidential Scholar, a National Merit finalist and just this month was named one of 197 national finalists for the prestigious Truman Scholarship, which pays out $30,000 to college juniors for graduate studies and leadership training.
Holowach also has autism, a developmental disability resulting from a neurological disorder of the brain.