‘SupportAbility’ Offers Scholarships to Students Who Overcome the Odds
THE EPOCH TIMES – August 27, 2021 Updated: August 31, 2021
By Hawken Miller – Printed with permission
When she was 15 years old, Julie Inman collapsed on a Colorado ski slope.
A hemorrhage in her brain resulting from arteriovenous malformation—an abnormal clump of blood vessels—had nearly killed her.
She woke up after life-saving surgery, only retaining the ability to hear and blink. Everything else, including swallowing, talking, and reading, would have to be relearned.
Despite it all, Inman returned to school at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, California, a year later and graduated in 1984. She went on to get her English degree at the University of Southern California and find a full-time job writing press releases for Grubb & Ellis, a real estate firm.
Now 56, Inman is still unable to walk and her fine motor function is affected, but she’s been on a 21-year mission through her organization, SupportAbility, to help high school students with similar hardships — whether they be 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 at 15 Orange County high schools and seven in Los Angeles County.
“To a lot of the kids, it makes a huge difference,” Inman told The Epoch Times from her home in Irvine, California. “The award really helped them feel like they could continue with college and be successful, and someone recognized them.”
Established in 2001 – Awarded over $42,000 last year!! We are ready for this year, 2022!!!
Hand-painted greeting cards, four for $20! This fundraiser has been extended indefinitely! Order thru Julie first at firstname.lastname@example.org – now accepting Venmo!
Our scholarship winner in 2019. Now starting her final year of college.
“Courage is the most important of the seven virtues!”
The past Holiday Boutique was outstanding!
Our first live fundraiser Sat. December 4th, 2021 was a hit! We made a whopping $2600. Thank everyone who came and shopped for our cause!
Many helpers priced and arranged items, brought breakfast and lunch, hung signs and balloons, rung-up purchases, etc.
SupportAbility’s Giving Tuesday in 2021.
Giving Tuesday Challenge was on again in November 2021! Thank you for remembering us with $1100!
Awards & Memorials
The Julie Inman Courage Awards
Are presented to high school seniors who have fought tremendous obstacles in order to graduate.
Memorial Awards are arranged by family members to honor their loved ones. We administer these awards at their Alma Mater.
For the past 15 years, the Michael Normanly Courage Award has been given annually at Loyola High School. He passed away at a young age from cancer. 2021 the award went to Josh Morales.
The Max Garrick Jr. Courage Award is given to a student who has a love for learning or is going into law. Max was a huge supporter of SupportAbility. In 2020 Andi Garrick chose Jack Tien.
The Michael Motherway Courage Award is four years old and is presented each year at Mater Dei High School. Michael passed away after battling ALS. He is a Mater Dei Alum. Dr. Julia Motherway chose Chase Harvey.
The Jane Noebel Courage Award is given out at Mater Dei High School where Jane’s three children graduated. Jane passed away suddenly from cancer. In 2021 Barry Noebel did not have a recipient.
The Brenda Eastman Courage Award was set up last year by her family. It is given at her alma mater, Santa Ana High School. In 2020 the family chose Kendall Kelley.
The Ryan Eastman Courage Award will be set in 2020. Ryan passed away suddenly at a young age leaving his young son and wife. The award will be at his alma mater, Newport Harbor High School. The first Ryan Eastman Award, given in 2020, went to Kendall McCallaster. It was chosen by the family.
The Dr. Edward Garr Courage Award was set up last year. Dr. Garr’s Award is given out at Mater Dei High School to a student going into the medical field. In 2020 Bunny Garr chose Tiffaney Le.
The Dorey Madrid Courage Award. Is given at Troy High School. Dorey was a much loved English teacher. She battled cancer for four years and lost her fight last year. Our award is given to a cancer victim or survivor. In 2020 SupportAbility chose Jack Tien.
The Laurel Bodine Memorial Courage Award began this year. She passed away from cancer. It went to Cielo Echegoyen. She plans to study medicine at Harvard.
The George Soviak Memorial Courage Award was started by a friend. It was awarded to a Villa Park student, Joshua Guerrero.
Announcing Our Second College Scholarship
Beginning this year, 2022, we are able to offer a second scholarship. This one provides books and tuition to a two year community college. It will be given to a physically disabled or learning disabled student. Applications will be available through your school counselors. They will be due to me March 1. 2022.
Available As Announced
An anonymous donor made this four-year scholarship possible. Two physically disabled students have been awarded $25,000 a year for four years. Both students are so deserving: one having a severe eye disability and the other a rare heart condition. They chose different universities. One chose University of Southern California and the other chose Cal Poly Pomona. A very complete interview process helps the Supportability Board of Directors to choose a recipient.
They are asked to stay in contact with us, send us their grades and transcripts and keep us posted as to their progress. Supportability is able to send them book money per their request.
2018 scholarship recipient Bich at her surprise party with SupportAbility. She will be graduating in 2021!!
Now pursuing her Masters in Public Health.
Hayley, our 2019 recipient, is celebrated by Julie at SupportAbility’s surprise meeting.
It is our hope that recipients can pay it forward and one day mentor other recipients. And attend a fundraiser!