New York brain injury attorneys, De Caro & Kaplen, LLP are proud to have presented the annual De Caro & Kaplen, LLP Traumatic Brain Injury Scholarship on October 1, 2018 to Tiffany Oliverio, in the sum of $1,000. Tiffany is a student pursuing a degree in Pre-Occupational and Occupational Therapy at Baker College in Flint, Michigan.
This scholarship opportunity was first introduced in 2017 during Brain Injury Awareness Month, to those who sustained a traumatic brain injury and are pursuing a higher education. In announcing this year’s recipient, 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 follow their dreams. It is truly inspirational.”
“Our winner, Tiffany Oliverio, has shown incredible determination and tenacity in learning to adapt to life after a brain injury, and to continue to pursue her goals. She has resolved to make a difference in the lives of other victims of brain injury by pursuing a career in Occupational Therapy, to work with other young adults who have sustained similar injuries,” commented Shana De Caro, who also serves as an officer and 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.
In October 2016, Oliverio, now 28, was involved in a single vehicle accident while travelling southbound on the U.S. 23 in Fenton, Michigan. According to Fenton Fire Chief Bob Cairnduff, she was found pinned in the vehicle, with two sets of hydraulic tools needed to free her from the wreckage.
Oliverio spent almost two weeks in a coma, and in a 2016 interview told Tri-County Times that the survival rate for her type of brain injury is just .1 percent. She also stated she had to relearn everything, from feeding herself, to getting dressed and taking a shower.
Shana continued, “Tiffany sustained a life-altering brain injury in 2016, just three weeks into her freshman year of college, when she was involved in a significant automobile crash. After awakening from a coma, she devoted herself to her physical and cognitive rehabilitation. Her incredible drive and efforts allowed her return to school in 2017. Tiffany spent that year away from school working on her recovery and maintained a positive attitude. Tiffany hopes to be an inspiration to others, demonstrating that hard work and perseverance will help them achieve their goals.”
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, “Tiffany, is a very determined person. She learned from her own extraordinary experiences that with accommodations and hard work she can return to school, where she intends to continue her studies to obtain a Masters in Occupational Therapy. Tiffany joined the Michigan Brain Injury Association to advocate for others experiencing the same difficulties. This has reinforced her continued efforts and pursue her dream working with survivors, as an occupational therapist, to help those who have sustained a brain injury, just as she did.”
On accepting the award, Oliverio said: “Life can be hard, but that doesn’t mean you should give up. I want other people with brain injury to know what happened to me.”
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 2019, are now being accepted.