Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.
I can’t go back and change the accident that took the lives of five nursing students on April 22, 2015, including my daughter Abbie. But I can help change the lives of many students who have their futures ahead of them. That is what Abbie would have wanted — not to be remembered as “one of the student nurses killed on I-16,” but as someone who had a positive impact on the people she met in her one lifetime.
That’s why I founded the Abbie DeLoach Foundation, and one reason we operate the foundation based on a school calendar. We start our year on Aug. 1 and end it on May 31. It gives each of us new opportunities for daring challenges, extraordinary dreams and lifetime goals to be scaled in a way that aligns with the rhythm of a year at a university.
To date, we’ve provided scholarships for students of six classes between 2017 and 2022. We have given over $1.25 million for medical scholarships, student-athlete scholarships, student services and eight world missions. We also have built an international home for women in India.
The students we’ve touched are young professionals in various fields of employment. Many of them put their skills to work during the dangerous and deadly COVID-19 pandemic these past two years. Prior to that, I’m positive they weren’t sitting in a classroom thinking that what was about to occur in the world of health that would claim millions of lives because of this deadly virus.
Many of the graduates we support are in the business field, preparing to become future leaders. They face challenges we also wouldn’t have been able to predict: double-digit inflation, the rise of interest rates on long-term house loans, the highest gas prices in years, the shortage of labor for the job market, and consideration of the supply chain with products that you now have to order weeks and months in advance.
Today’s graduates from the Abbie DeLoach Foundation have 20, 30 or 40 years ahead of them before they start becoming leaders in their chosen fields. We need to fill that gap with people who are dedicated to providing hands-on development opportunities for the next generation. We need those who will not stand on the sidelines and tell us how it should be done, but who are willing to join us at ADF and become part of history. Together, we can and will change the ending of so many future leaders in this next generation.
What is your goal for this year? And how can you help future generations of leaders prepare for what lies ahead of them? You never know, that one nurse or doctor who might save your daughter’s life, or that of a loved one, may have been a class member of the Abbie DeLoach Foundation.