Amy Hubert wanted to do something bigger.
Her son James should have turned 18 in May. He should have graduated from high school.
He never even made it to kindergarten.
After falling and being discovered in the backyard pool at Hubert’s newly rented home in Georgia, the 16-month-old was confined to a hospital bed.
James’ organs slowly started working during the first week. Although he flat-lined, the occasional beep on the monitor gave his family hope. But, the toddler never woke up.
By the end of the second week, doctors ran tests and determined James was brain dead. Hubert and her husband decided to pull the breathing tube out of James’ mouth.
“I did not stay in the room,” Hubert said. “I couldn’t do it.”
After James died in 1997, the family did little things — like donating his viable organs and planting a tree at Carl Levin Park when they moved to Harker Heights — in memory of him.
This year his family decided to donate $2,500 to the district’s alumni association for the James K. Hubert Memorial Scholarship.
“We’ve been trying to do things to make something good out of bad, as much as you can,” Hubert said. “Education is very important to us, too. My husband came from a very, very small town in Texas. He’s the first not only to graduate from college, but then he went to medical school and he knows what education has opened up in his life.”
The scholarship is one of many the Killeen ISD Alumni Association, a division of the Killeen ISD Education Foundation, is offering to graduating seniors in the district to supplement the cost of tuition, room and board, and books.
“We are proud to offer 21 different scholarship opportunities totaling ($38,940),” said Joyce Hodson, director of the foundation. “The value of the scholarships range from 18 hours of tuition waivers at (Central Texas College) to $8,000 for a top-ranking academic senior.”
For the scholarship honoring James, requirements include someone with a 3.0 GPA. Special consideration will be given to students pursuing a career as an athletic trainer or students leaning toward a career in medicine, preferably sports medicine.
“Since my son was so young, we really have no idea what he would have done to pick something,” Hubert said. “He probably would have picked sports, knowing his dad.”
Although her son won’t be walking across the stage this May, Hubert wants the recipient of the scholarship to be aware of the story behind it.
“(I hope they) really appreciate it that much more and study and do something with it,” she said. “We don’t expect anything in return, we want them to do something to make their lives better.”