Project Sleep, a national organization that aims to educate individuals about the importance of sleep health, awarded 18 recipients with a 2019 Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship. This is the largest class of recipients to date with each student receiving $1,000 towards their college education.

“This year’s recipients exemplify tenacity and self-awareness—life skills that will serve them well as they chase big dreams,” says Julie Flygare, JD, president and CEO at Project Sleep, in a release. “As we congratulate this year’s recipients, we look towards the future with ambitious goals that will allow us to grow the scholarship program and ultimately make a larger impact within the sleep community.”

More than 80 students from across the country submitted applications in 2019 making this year’s applicant pool the largest and most competitive to date. In six years, Project Sleep has awarded a total of 68 scholarships totaling $68,000.

“Low public awareness of serious sleep conditions often delays proper detection and diagnosis, and can lead to stigma and isolation,” says Flygare. “This scholarship program sheds light on under-recognized serious sleep conditions, validates and honors an inspiring group of young adults overcoming adversity, and creates a sense of community among those navigating similar circumstances.”

Narcolepsy is a chronic neurological condition that impairs the brain’s ability to regulate the sleep-wake cycle. A related condition, idiopathic hypersomnia, is a chronic neurological disorder marked by an insatiable need to sleep that is not eased by a full night’s slumber.

The Jack & Julie Narcolepsy Scholarship was founded in 2014 by Flygare and the Graham family as the first national scholarship program of its kind. The program aims to support the educational aspirations of students with narcolepsy and idiopathic hypersomnia while also raising critical awareness for the conditions within the high school and college communities.

Funds for the scholarships are raised through Project Sleep’s annual fundraising campaigns and thoughtful donors including Hypersomnia Foundation, Jazz Pharmaceuticals, and Harmony Biosciences LLC.