Adreenah “Dreezy” Wynn received the Rita McTigue O’Connell Scholarship in the spring of 2015 for her excellent academics, responsible leadership and service to the community. A double major in graphic design and art + technology in the School of Art + Art History, Wynn aspires to become an art therapist and graphic designer. She was inspired by how graphic design has helped her throughout her life.
Wynn has sickle-cell disease, a blood disorder in which cells are shaped like sickles causing them to get stuck together within her joints. In middle school, she experienced many health complications that led to hospitalization. To keep herself entertained, she would draw sketches, but there were limitations on the art supplies she was allowed to have in the hospital.
“The only other thing I had access to was a computer with Microsoft Paint,” said Wynn. “I used design as escapism. I was being silly and creating for fun. Eventually, I was able to get a Photoshop trial. The nurse helped me print my designs and post them on the wall. I feel like the process of design saved me from depression and the outcome of the work also helped brighten other people’s day.”
Wynn's passion for design and helping others has moved her to use the power of design to make a positive impact in the community by creating powerful infographic posters that inform viewers about sickle-cell disease. She also does diversity work to start important dialogue about current events such as the shooting in Ferguson, Missouri.
“Merging the factors that I’m a graphic designer, female, African-American and have a disability truly adds an extra challenge in itself, but I won’t quit,” said Wynn. “I know that I represent a voice for many people. I genuinely want to help others in the same way UF Health Shands Hospital and the UF Disability Resource Center have helped me.”
Wynn hopes to follow her dreams and show others that no matter what the circumstance or struggle, you can overcome it. “I believe that the diversity within myself helps to provide a different dynamic to every group I participate in,” said Wynn. “I work hard to be a voice to those who are not heard. I do what I love to help and empower others.”
To view Wynn’s work, click here