Aimee Melissa Davis Memorial Scholarship Fund
Honoring the Memory of a Child by Helping Others
A SCHOLARSHIP FUND FOR STUDENTS WITH TYPE 1 DABETES FINDS A HOME AT ACF.
The problem, as Sue Norris states it, is heartbreakingly clear: "When a parent loses a child, suddenly they can't parent anymore." When Aimee Melissa Davis, Sue Norris' and David Davis' daughter, died in 1993 from complications from Type I diabetes, her parents needed to solve that problem by finding the best way to remember and honor their daughter.
When she died, Aimee had just started college, and so a scholarship in her name seemed the most appropriate memorial. The fund, designed to offer financial assistance to an exceptional college-bound high school senior with Type I diabetes, awards approximately $5,000 yearly to a student who has, as Davis puts it," excelled in school despite having the added burden of diabetes." The fund has recognized 20 high school seniors, though Davis admits that there could be many more. Both parents say they receive enormous satisfaction from the interaction they have with the scholarship recipients and their parents. "What we've enjoyed more than anything," says Davis, "is the ability to be with the kids and be able to provide them something that's kind of a reward when they've been dealt a major problem in life."
Aimee's family hopes that a cure for Type I diabetes will someday make the fund irrelevant, but until then, they feel very secure with the Austin Community Foundation as the scholarship's home. While the fund didn't originate at ACF, the decision to transfer the fund was obvious, Davis says, because of the investment policies, the ability for the family to remain involved in the fund, as well as experience and leadership at the foundation. "We get the benefit of all their tax expertise, investment expertise, record-keeping expertise at a very low cost to the fund, so that we're able to continue to build up the principal."
"Somehow," says Norris, "ACF makes you feel like they exist just for you. And for families, that means a lot."
The Austin Community Foundation also gives the fund the support it needs to grow, in part b widely publicizing it to both donors and applicants. "The fact that it's associated with ACF gives it more credibility," says David. Before the fund was transferred, there was a chance it might be depleted quickly, "but now I'm not worried about it continuing," says David. "I'm very secure with the handling of it."
There's also something about the fund being run by a foundation dedicated to the community that Aimee called home. "I'm glad that we're involved in some way with something that is in Austin," says Sue. "They've just become pat of the family."