Rachel Boveja, PhD

Rachel Boveja portrait

The Courage to Speak Up & Speak Truthfully

Rachel Boveja, PhD; Career Coach, Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies; Adjunct Faculty, IU Bloomington School of Public Health

For anyone who is looking to find their voice, Rachel Boveja’s story is an inspiration. One of Boveja’s passions in life is giving people the confidence to be comfortable advocating for themselves, especially those who are living with epilepsy. And for Boveja, who also lives with epilepsy—and knows firsthand the stigma associated with it—the journey of raising awareness around the condition has been an exercise in getting comfortable with discomfort.

Growing up, Boveja remembers all the opinions and misinformation around epilepsy that were woven throughout her childhood: well-meaning family members who thought they knew best how she should handle the condition, school systems that misunderstood epilepsy as a learning disability, and parents of friends who were concerned about her being around their children. She also remembers the lack of understanding she had about the way Epilepsy would impact her life, relationships, and decisions for years to come. Still today, myths and misperceptions around epilepsy abound, reinforcing the stigma associated with the condition.

Through the years, Boveja became more aware of tools that helped her manage her health. She approached her wellbeing holistically, focusing on diet, physical activity, and other stress-relief supports, including learning to meditate at age five.

She was also fortunate to have some wonderful teachers who helped her enjoy learning and sparked her passion for education. “For as long as I can remember, I wanted to teach—to gain information and knowledge and pass it on to others in any way I could,” says Boveja.

Boveja’s message to those who are advocating for themselves is this: “Remember you are beautiful and deserving of all the love in the world.”