Establishing an endowed scholarship turns one family's grief into a living memorial for their son. The Heron family lost their son, Andrew "Wade" Heron to brain cancer when he was just twenty months old. They have set up an endowed scholarship through Lone Star College-Kingwood in his name.
Wade's mother, Amber Heron, says it was an extremely difficult time, but she says the doctors and nurses at Texas Children's were wonderful. "The nurses were always so happy and smiling; they were like a family to us. We wanted to do something to remember our son and also to thank all the doctors and nurses who helped us," says Heron.
"We decided to make the memorial a scholarship for a nursing student so that other families would benefit."
The family chose to set up the scholarship at Lone Star College-Kingwood because little Wade's father had served as a student ambassador at Lone Star College-Kingwood and graduated from the nursing program as an LVN. He now works as a local fire fighter. Amber who holds a master's degree in curriculum and instruction says education is very important to her and that was another reason for choosing to set up a scholarship.
An endowed scholarship can be set up by anyone and named for private individuals, corporations or organizations, in memory of individuals or in honor of individuals. The endowed scholarship level is $15,000 and a donor has seven years to reach the $15,000 activation amount. The endowed scholarships are then given annually in perpetuity. An endowed scholarship is established through the North Harris Community College District Foundation and the donor may set the criteria used in the selection of the recipient.
"By doing an endowment, my son's name will live on forever, even long after we're gone," says Amber, "I'm hoping the nurses who receive this scholarship in the future will know Wade's story and why the scholarship was created."
The Heron family is grateful to all of the people who have made donations. Heron says the response has been overwhelming. "All of our family has been so supportive. We've received donations from friends, our baby's pediatrician, business associates, community members, and even strangers. Some of these people never even met our son."
The Andrew "Wade" Heron Memorial Scholarship is designated for a second year nursing student of Lone Star College-Kingwood with an interest in both pediatrics and oncology and with a GPA of 3.75 or higher. Donations are tax deductible and can be made by mailing a check to Janis Fowler, Director of Grants, Lone Star College-Kingwood, 20000 Kingwood Dr., Kingwood, Texas 77339 or by calling 281-312-1564. Checks should be made out to Lone Star College System (Lone Star College System) with Andrew Heron in the memo line.
In addition to the endowment, the Heron family has gifted a one time scholarship, available in January 2008, for a nursing student with the same requirements as the endowment.
Amber began working at Lone Star College-Kingwood this past summer as an adjunct biology professor and says she enjoys the work and staying busy helps her deal with the sadness. The family also has a new little girl to keep them occupied. "She was born exactly one month after Wade's death. She's a blessing and joy."
The Heron's certainly won't ever forget their son Wade; but they hope that this endowment will mean he will never be forgotten by others. "He was only one year old but he really made an impact on many, many people."
Lone Star College System, one of the five largest and fastest growing community college districts in Texas, comprises Lone Star College-North Harris, Lone Star College-Kingwood, Lone Star College–Tomball, Lone Star College–Montgomery, Lone Star College–CyFair, six satellite centers and The University Center. For more information on the programs and services of the college district, please visit the website at www.lonestar.edu or call 832-813-6500.