I want to start off by telling everyone I am still here even though I have not written a little while. I have started a new job and trying to do some other things.
I know many of you know I have been writing a book about Mari’s life and the grief journey that followed. The book is done. However, here is where the problem lies. I have found an editor that I believe will be perfect for this book. Unfortunately, the price is quite high for me to pay her. I need to raise about $8,000 to have it done.
Right now I am looking at how I can make the book smaller so the cost is less. Then I will start looking into fundraising to help with the cost.
I have also come to a decision with regards to where I want either some or the majority of the profits from the book to go. I am going to start a non-profit organization in honor of Mari that will be a scholarship program for those individuals who would like to become teachers for those children who have autism. For an individual to receive a scholarship through this organization they will first have to submit an essay stating why they would like to receive a scholarship. I will be personally reading every submission. I want each scholarship given to be a full ride scholarship. I will of course do my research to find out what the average cost across the country is to attend college. I do not want anyone to be stuck going only to a state school. However, we will not be paying for a full ride to like Harvard. I want individuals to be able to have the opportunity to attend a private college if possible. And when I say full ride I am talking about tuition, boarding, fees, and books. The individuals who are awarded these scholarships must provide proof either each semester or year that they are currently enrolled in a special education program for autism. Then after the individual graduates they must show they have gotten a job teaching children with autism for a minimum of 2 years. If this criteria is not all met they will then be required to pay back the entire scholarship. Of course, this is all laid out for each individual before they ever receive the scholarship so there are no surprises.
I have wanted to start a scholarship program in Mari’s name ever since she passed away. I know there are just not enough autism teachers out there today. I also know it takes a very special person to do this. If we can find those type of people out there today I would love to help ease the burden for those who need it that way they do not have to take out a lot of loans.