Humans of BRAVE: Rachel Tessler

Hello brave humans!

Today's Humans of BRAVE showcases an individual who is empowered by her choices by choosing to see the good throughout a struggle. How do you empower yourself through your choices?

Have a day friends :)


Rachel Tessler, the brave human on the right, pictured with our fab intern Lucia!

Rachel Tessler, the brave human on the right, pictured with our fab intern Lucia!

“It started when I was 4, I got bitten by a tick on my face and I was undiagnosed with Lyme for two years; had quiet seizures, not concentrating, really exhausted. At 6, it got really bad; I had spots on my face. I didn’t go to school full time. I missed many subjects. That’s why I still feel there are gaps in knowledge that I have. I couldn’t do sports, I couldn’t do what the other kids were doing. I couldn’t play at recess. As a kid, you don’t know what to do in order to work around that, especially if you don’t have the resources. That’s when I turned to theater at 9 years old. I was getting more entranced in all that and I found a group of people. As I got older, I realized that I can do the other things that other people can do. I can’t let being sick hold me back. I managed by just pushing through and asking for help when I needed it, I tried to find ways to show that I was a hard worker. I sought out what I needed to move forward. I always asked for help, I always tried really hard on assignments and my grades would go up and I would call people to get information. Also, seeking help from friends helped, especially in college. They helped me realize the potential I have to manage and lead. I didn’t think I would be where I am today. Personally, I didn’t think I would be at UConn or at a school like this. With my persistence and my ability to manage what limits me, I was able to do it. I still struggle, I still have tics, I’m still tired. But over time, I learned how to manage it and be the best I can be. I always used to think what would happen if I didn’t get sick. I constantly had that thought going through my head. I recently only stopped having that because I was really happy with where it led me. I don’t think I would have the same personality growing up the way I did. I like to think I am an empathetic person and I don’t think I’d be as empathetic if I hadn’t gone through it. It led me to theater and I’m super thankful. I was exposed to that because I couldn’t run and it led me to those people who are doing good in the world. I’m more exposed to good now because of what happened.”

Serena Manzi