Wednesday, August 10, 2022

‘Supportability’ offers scholarships to students who overcome obstacles

When she was 15 years old, Julie Inman collapsed on a Colorado ski slope.

Hemorrhage in his brain, as a result of the arteriovenous malformation – an abnormal clump of blood vessels – had nearly killed him.

She woke up after a life-saving surgery, retaining only the ability to hear and blink. Everything else will have to be re-learned, including swallowing, talking, and reading.

Despite all this, Inman returned to school a year later at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, Calif., and graduated in 1984. She earned her English degree at USC and a full-time job writing press releases for Grub End. Ellis, a real estate firm.

Now 56, Inman is still unable to walk and his fine motor function is affected, but he is on a 21-year mission through his organization support capacity To help high school students with similar difficulties – whether they are physical, environmental or mental – to attend a four-year university or junior college.

Since Inman founded the organization in 2000, SupportAbility has awarded $1 million in scholarships to more than 1,000 students in 15 Orange County high schools and seven Los Angeles counties.

“It makes a big difference to a lot of kids,” Inman told The Epoch Times from his home in Irvine. “The award really helped them feel that they could continue with college and be successful, and someone recognized them.”

Julie Inman at her apartment complex on August 24, 2021 in Irvine, Calif. (John Fredericks/The Epoch Times)

Counselors from these schools encourage students to apply for the organization’s primary scholarships, Julie Inman Courage Award, which was originally created by Inman’s parents in honor of her high school graduation. After Inman started his own organization, scholarships were given first to Mater Dei and then to other Orange County schools. It rewards those who have overcome the toughest obstacles against all odds.

SupportAbility maintains eight memorial awards in specific fields, including theater, law and medicine, and those who have faced special challenges such as cancer. The organization also offers a Supportability Scholarship to students hoping to attend college every four years through an anonymous donor.

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Typically, the amount awarded ranges from $500 to $1,500. Every year, the 13-member board of Inman and Supportability reads over 100 short essays that outline the difficulties these children have faced.

Eunice Lee, now 35, who was awarded one of the early Courage Awards in 2004, also experienced a brain injury before her freshman year of high school and has now become a close friend of Inman’s.

She took a nap the day before her freshman year at university high school and didn’t wake up again until 10 weeks later. Doctors eventually diagnosed her with Moyamoya disease, an extremely rare condition that causes narrowing of the blood vessels in the brain. While in a coma, she would hear doctors treating her like a test subject, often remarking that she would probably die.

After coming out of the coma, Lee had to re-learn how to operate and even crawl. She underwent 10 brain surgeries, which forced her to constantly shave her head, as well as acute migraines. Even though Lee missed his entire freshman year, the combination of summer school and old-fashioned hard work allowed him to graduate on time.

Receiving a $1,000 award for attending UCI was life-changing for him, and Inman continued to support Lee’s studies by purchasing Lee’s books and becoming a mentor.

“When I received the award, the first time I thought, ‘Huh,’ you did that,” said Lee, who currently works as a caregiver for a senior citizen. “It was someone acknowledging that what you went through is very unique and that you should be proud of what you did.”

“Supportability is really the only scholarship foundation where it asks only one thing from the students. How dare you show up?”

Yug Times Photos
Painted artwork by Julie Inman at her apartment complex on August 24, 2021 in Irvine, Calif. (John Fredericks/The Epoch Times)

Fundraising for SupportAbility is largely at the grassroots level. Inman’s expenses are low and almost every dollar is put into scholarships.

Individual donors make up the largest portion of the money raised. A group of unnamed individuals called the Inman Angels in the Wings each gave $10,000 when SupportAbility first hit the ground, and this has contributed to its current success and influence.

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One of SupportAbility’s most successful fundraising methods is an appeal letter sent to the organization’s 350-person mailing list. Recipients typically send a total of $25,000; However, this past year, SupportAbility was able to raise $40,000.

The fundraising strategy for Supportability is also very event-focused and includes a wine-tasting dinner, where gift baskets and holidays are closed for Hawaii, and the annual end-of-year reception at the Santa Ana Country Club. where donors have the opportunity to meet the students they sponsored and find out what they are up to.

“They know where their money is going,” Inman said. “They know how that person is going to benefit from their help.”

Inman is also personally invested in fundraising. She ran 1,000 miles on a stationary bicycle at her local L.A. Fitness between October and January for two years in a row, amassing more than $10,000 before the pandemic.

And in recent months, Inman has been using her newfound love of painting to help raise funds. She sells greeting cards printed with her pictures, focusing on the natural environment she experiences on her wheelchair ride along the small creek behind her accessible apartment complex. Inman’s artistic cards have so far raised over $6,500 for the cause.

Yug Times Photos
Painted artwork by Julie Inman at her apartment complex on August 24, 2021 in Irvine, Calif. (John Fredericks/The Epoch Times)

After Inman suffered a brain hemorrhage 40 years ago and completely changed her life, many of her life goals, such as walking without assistance, had to be adjusted and reconsidered. However, Inman has kept his head above water, using his time and energy to help others.

“When there were no goals she would reset them, which was a wonderful feature,” said Julie’s mother and SupportAbility Board member Patricia Inman.

“She may never completely change, but she was able to really pull herself up and move on.”

And next to him.

Hawken Miller

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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