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We are thrilled to announce that we have awarded the third Jon-Alec Chervin Memorial Scholarship to Lawrence (Larry) Sampson, a very deserving student at the Community College of Aurora (CCA). Larry is a US Army veteran and a Nationally Registered EMT. He works at a busy orthopedic clinic in addition to attending classes at CCA. He aspires to become a Trauma Nurse and a Paramedic.

During his 9 years serving in the military police, Larry had frequent interactions with medical staff and was impressed by their competence. He realized that the healthcare field was filled with top notch people. As a result of these experiences, he is committed to this challenging career path.

He is an active member of the Wounded Warrior Project, assisting wounded veteran’s in adjusting to life with new circumstances. He also participates in Mental Health First Aid programs to help those with mental health issues. He has seen the effects of limited support for wounded veterans (both mentally and physically) and has lost more friends to suicide than actual combat. Working with both programs has helped him cope and resolve a lot of his own service related challenges.

We are delighted to provide support to someone who has selflessly served his country. Jon-Alec would be pleased that Larry is helping those with mental health challenges; he always believed that people struggling with mental health issues needed to be treated with respect. The picture Larry sent indicates that he is a Jon-Alec kind of guy, living his best life in the mountains. We wish Larry the success on his journey and look forward to updates as he progresses.

Larry expressed his gratitude for the support: "I am humbled and honored to be the recipient of the Jon-Alec Chervin Memorial Scholarship. With your support, I will continue to strive for academic excellence while completing my degree in paramedicine.

As an Army veteran who is now navigating the difficulties of civilian life while pursuing a career in healthcare, I have come to understand the value of a good college education. I am motivated now more than ever to finish my degree so that I can start giving back to my community."

Congratulations, Larry!

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We are delighted to announce that we have awarded the second Jon-Alec Chervin Memorial Scholarship to a very deserving student at the Community College of Aurora (CCA), Misty Terrero-Gonzalez. Misty is the youngest of a family of 5, and the first to attend college. She completed the EMT program at CCA and is taking credits toward her associates degree in applied sciences. She plans to continue her education at Colorado State University where she will study biomedical technology. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering at the food bank located in her community, working out in the gym or trying to learn her mother’s recipes. We recently had the pleasure of Face Timing with Misty. She is a well poised and gracious young woman. We believe she will contribute to making the world a better place. Your contributions help us to support students like Misty. Listen to Misty talk about how this scholarship has benefited her:

Dear Chervin Family, Thank you for awarding me the Fall 2021 Jon-Alec Chervin Memorial Scholarship. I am the youngest out of a family of 5, I have been fortunate enough to continue my education past high school, which in itself is an accomplishment. My parents could only afford up to a 4th grade level education for themselves and did not want that for me or my siblings. I am currently studying for the NREMT test next month while taking credits for my Associates in Applied Science. I aspire to be a medic for a SWAT team. In the meantime, I would like to get some years of experience as an EMT. What brings me the most joy is helping my second oldest brother with his twin daughters as well as learning new recipes from my mom. Other than myself, they are the two main people that motivate me academically. Once more, thank you for this opportunity and awarding me this scholarship.

Misty Terrero-Gonzalez

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Since Jon-Alec died, birthdays, special occasions and milestones in our lives have become challenging. It is important to celebrate these moments, but we feel the loss of Jon-Alec more deeply on those days. He should be there to celebrate with us. Birthdays are especially difficult because Jon-Alec will never have another one.

July brings the promise of good weather, beach time and my birthday. I have always loved July. Now, when June fades away and July begins, my heart becomes heavy with grief and anxiety. Jon-Alec’s birthday, August 2, arrives 16 days after mine. How can I celebrate my birthday without my boy? Why do I get to have another birthday, while he never will? On the other hand, shouldn’t we celebrate another year of living because he can’t? The days leading up to my birthday this year were hard, but I thought about Jon-Alec and what he would say to me. He would tell me that it sucked that he was gone, but that I should not stop living and celebrating life. He embraced life with gusto. He found the things that brought him joy and did them, so, on my birthday, I spent the day at the beach with Brad, Eliana, her boyfriend, and a cherished childhood friend, Maggie. Then I gathered with some dear friends for five hours of dining and conversation. I allowed myself to enjoy their company and embrace their love. I allowed grief and joy to coexist.

Presently we are on Maui, on an adventure, trying to live as Jon-Alec did. We hiked in lava fields along the coast, taking time to truly appreciate the beauty nature gifts us, stopping to shed tears because Jon-Alec should would have loved this hike. We even went snorkeling, something we have been unable to do since Jon-Alec’s death. He Faced Timed us from the dive boat days before his death, so excited to share his adventures with us. He encouraged us to get scuba certified so we could take a family diving trip together. For a long time the ocean was a scary place for us. I am not sure we will ever be able to scuba dive, but we decided to go back to snorkeling. We allowed ourselves to experience what he experienced on a smaller scale. It was breathtaking and I know he is proud of us.

As I anticipate, what would have been Jon-Alec’s 28th birthday, the grief is particularly heavy, once again. We (Brad, Eliana, my mom and I) will be back in Boulder for the first time since his 26th birthday because the pandemic kept us away. We will visit the cemetery, where he has a view of the Flat Iron mountain range he so loved. We will wear orange, hike and dine with his girlfriend and dear friends. We will celebrate Jon-Alec and who he was. Perhaps the love of his Boulder ‘family’ will envelop us, once again allowing some joy to coexist with grief.

If you haven’t done so recently, please help us honor, Jon-Alec, on what should have been his 28th birthday, by making a donation to the Jon-Alec Fund. And go on that adventure you always dreamed about. He would have!

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