Three years ago my older brother Austin dove into shallow water while on a family vacation in Florida. He broke his neck as a result of that dive, paralyzing him for life. Austin worked tirelessly every day through rehab at Craig Hospital in the months following his injury. Evenings and nights were spent thriving in his education; he was determined to keep up with his classes at school. After making substantial recovery from his injury, Austin decided to give back through the creation of his Spinal Cord Injury Scholars Fund, a non-profit organization that provides financial resources to injured scholars who need technology to continue their education (lightweight computers, microphones for typing, speech to text software, etc).
Additionally, as he began applying for colleges, Austin encountered the overwhelming cost of tuition. We were eventually introduced to Swim With Mike. Austin applied and was granted a Swim With Mike scholarship, allowing him to attend his dream school, Stanford University, where he is currently a freshman. Thanks to the generosity of Swim with Mike, many students with physical disabilities who could not afford to attend college are able to continue their education and pursue their dreams.
Unfortunately, most students who suffer injuries and lifelong consequences similar to Austin don’t have the financial resources to obtain care, technology, and tuition to continue in school. Education is the path to excellence. No one should have to choose between paying for healthcare and continuing education when living with an injury or physical disability.
Therefore, I have created Students for Injured Scholars to provide a 50/50 split benefit between Austin's Spinal Cord Injury Scholars Fund and Swim With Mike.
We hope you recognize the vision of Students for Injured Scholars and participate to benefit the lives of those who strive for academic excellence despite their challenges.
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- Kristen Font
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