Aria Nursing Scholarship

***Update 9/17/2014 - Due to the large number of donations we received we needed to change the donor rewards a little bit. As it turns out, when a three year old is the creative genius behind the art production for things, it gets a little overwhelming. We are currently preparing the rewards (with his help) and should have them mailed out soon. Thanks again for your generosity and for helping us to keep Aria's name alive and serve other people through education. 

***Update 9/11/2014 - Well, this is just amazing! After just 9 days we have collected the minimum amount we needed to endow this scholarship in Aria's name. Thanks to many generous donations from friends and family (and new friends from the exposure Aria's nursing scholarship received from KSL) today took us over the top. We cannot say thank you enough to the people that have given and shared Aria's story with others. This has been inspiring for our family. Our dream is coming true.

You may have noticed that we raised the goal a little bit. We'd like to be clear - where we stand right now, Aria's nursing scholarship is going to happen. We did it! Thanks to you, this effort has already been a success. 

When we started this idea we were committed to making the scholarship happen. It was never a question of "if," but more a question of "when" and how long it would take for us to pull the money together needed for a minimum scholarship endowment. Now, instead of it being a question of "when," it's a question of "how much" and "how generous" of an endowment can be made. 

So, it occurred to us that people seeing all of this for the first time, or that had visited this page but haven't had a chance to give yet, might be discouraged to find a funding goal that was already achieved and might feel like there's no point to them being a part of the scholarship and giving a little bit. If people continue to feel that this is a worthy cause, all additional funds we receive help to grow the endowment. That's something our family has been planning on doing throughout our lives, so once we were surprised to meet the minimum endowment requirement so quickly we thought we would leave things open just a little while longer with a little bigger goal.

We are touched to see how meaningful Aria's story has been to so many people, and how many people believe that we're doing something good and honorable by supporting nursing students and the nursing profession. Several people have privately messaged us to tell us that they too have received care from amazing nurses, and that's why they chose to donate. We encourage all of those that have been blessed with a great nurse to share their story in the comments below. 

We'll continue accepting funds via this page through the end of September, and then make the biggest scholarship endowment we can.
Thank you again, so much. We are going to help educate great nurses that help future families in need in Aria's name. That's really happening. It's incredible. 


To honor Aria's short life, we are endowing a scholarship fund for nursing students.

Our daughter Aria was born 5 and 1/2 weeks early on June 30th, 2014 via emergency c-section due to complications. Aria was immediately life-flighted to a NICU better equipped for her needs, while her mommy stayed at the hospital of delivery for four days to recover from her emergency surgery. We did not know at the time if Aria would survive long enough for her mommy to meet her, but the nurses taking care of her mother provided exceptional physical and emotional care during her recovery until she was reunited with her daughter.

On August 18th, 2014, after 7 short weeks of life, Aria passed away. We grew more and more impressed wth the outstanding nursing care Aria received throughout her life. The nurses made all the difference for our family, and often went above and beyond their scope of duty in order to help both Aria and us feel taken care of. My wife and I always felt like we were leaving her in good hands when we had to return home each night. 

To honor Aria's life and the nurses that cared for her and her mommy, we are establishing a scholarship fund for nursing students in Aria's name. Nurses don't need to be the unsung heroes in the story of Aria's life. We felt that working to provide a scholarship to advance the education of nursing students could help other families in need to also receive great care from nurses. In this way, Aria's life can have a positive impact on others for generations to come. 

A minimum $25,000 contribution to a Utah state educational institution's endowment pool is required to endow an ongoing scholarship that is awarded every year. Aria's mother and I have committed $7,000 towards the endowment and are hoping to raise the other $18,000 through the support of family, friends, and others that have been touched by Aria's life. If we surpass our goal we will simply be able to endow an even more generous scholarship that will impact even more nursing students. If we are able to raise the funds to meet the minimum requirement by the end of this year the first students could begin receiving this scholarship in 2015!

Many people stepped forward with offers to help while our family was facing so much uncertainty with Aria's life. Many offered to send flowers or financial assistance for medical expenses. While we appreciated those offers, we asked that they wait until the scholarship fund was established and contribute to that instead. Those flowers and financial gifts would have provided temporary support to our family in a moment of need, but our hope was that we could redirect that generosity in a way that would permanently bless the lives of many others. If you are able, please contribute now to Aria's Nursing Scholarship.

Establishing this scholarship in Aria's name will fullfill our family's dream of having Aria's name live on, while also supporting the education of those that are preparing to enter the nursing profession. Thank you again for your love and support. 

For more about Aria's story, please visit:


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  • John Grotegut  
    • $10 
    • 79 mos
  • Jake Reni 
    • $100 
    • 79 mos
  • Jessica Stever 
    • $25 
    • 79 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 79 mos
  • Shali Huntley 
    • $50 
    • 79 mos
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Michael Rutkowski 
Lehi, UT
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