The Law Offices of De Caro & Kaplen, LLP are proud to have presented the inaugural De Caro & Kaplen, LLP Traumatic Brain Injury Scholarship on September 1, 2017 to Courtney Bruun-Andersen. Courtney is a graduate student pursuing a Master’s degree in Social Work at the New York University Silver School of Social Work.
This scholarship opportunity was introduced during Brain Injury Awareness Month, to those who sustained a traumatic brain injury and are pursuing a higher education. In announcing the winner, De Caro & Kaplen, partners Shana De Caro and Michael V. Kaplen said, “We were deeply moved by the number of outstanding applications we received and want to recognize all the many people who have sustained significant injuries, and through perseverance and arduous work have found a way to pursue their dreams. It is truly inspirational.”
Shana De Caro, a member of the Board of Directors of the Brain Injury Association of America and past chair of the American Association for Justice, Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, commented, “Our winner, Courtney Bruun-Andersen, has shown incredible determination and tenacity in learning to adapt to life after a brain injury, and to continue to pursue her goals.”
Shana continued, “Courtney sustained a significant brain injury in 2010 when she was just 19 years old and a college sophomore at University of North Carolina. She worked extraordinarily hard at her rehabilitation and pushed herself to return as a full-time student in 2012. Though she experienced setbacks on her journey, requiring an additional medical leave from school, she finally completed her degree. Through her ordeal she maintained a can-do attitude and discovered that there were many others like her, who had sustained the all too invisible brain injury. She became cognizant, not only of the day- to -day struggles of a person with a brain injury, but increasingly she became aware of the societal prejudice and obstacles that confronted her and other people with similar injuries.”
Michael V. Kaplen, a three-term president of the Brain Injury Association of New York State, and professorial lecturer teaching a course in brain injury law at the George Washington University Law School said, “Courtney, is a very determined person, she learned, from her own experiences that the work and academic environment are not welcoming or accommodating to those with disabilities. Courtney is involved in both the North Carolina and the New York Brain Injury Associations, participating and mentoring others who are at the beginning of their journey after brain injury, and offering them hope. This has made her more determined to continue to pursue her dream working with survivors, as a social worker, to help, to advocate, and to support those who have sustained a brain injury, just as she did.”
The Traumatic Brain Injury Scholarship is an annual award for students who have sustained a traumatic brain injury. Applications for the next fund, to be distributed in late Summer 2018, are now being accepted.