It seems very fitting that we selected the winners for the scholarship fund started in our son's memory on the cusp of Volunteer Appreciation Week. The Austin's Legacy Scholarship's main criteria is volunteerism and is rooted in the scripture,
1 Timothy 4:12.
Austin will always be known for his giving spirit and helping hands. He loved to volunteer and jumped in enthusiastically at any opportunity. As is etched on his stone, He lived a lifetime in his fourteen short years on this Earth. Giving back, making a difference, and being an example for others is the legacy Austin left behind.
This would've been Austin's graduating year and so we decided early on to award multiple scholarships. That decision would prove helpful, as our committee had a difficult decision between several excellent candidates. In the end, we were able to recognize three outstanding young women. We'll present their awards, totaling $1800, on May 1.
Of course Austin's spirit filled our home, as we met to make the decision. The goose bump moment came in selecting our top recipient. Each member of the committee reviewed one application at a time, scoring them at the end. Once finished, we tallied their totals to find the average score and discussed top candidates. As the group talked, and I calculated, my eyes filled with tears on our first choice.
Her total was 23. Austin's favorite number, proudly displayed on every jersey he ever wore, and something he uses often to send us signs. I sat there stunned, tearful, and very thankful that Austin could be a part of our selection. What I hadn't shared with the group, until after we chose her, was that she and Austin were friends. They grew up together, attended the same church, and sat beside each other every year in band. I think everyone at the table was inspired and felt hugged by our sweet boy, as we left the table.
In a season that has so many difficult moments...wishing for the memories that will never be, yesterday was heaven sent. Our family feels beyond blessed to share Austin's Legacy with three very deserving ladies. And we know he looks down proudly on it all.