When interviewing someone who has experienced a loss or tragedy, there’s always a sense of uncertainty in asking them to revisit dark or difficult places; to go outside your comfort zone and into someone else’s personal boundaries.
I don’t want to stir up bad memories or sadness, but I want to tell their stories since I know they have the power to provide support for others going through similar situations.
When I spoke with Harker Heights resident Amy Hubert, she spent nearly 30 minutes sharing memories of her son, James, who drowned in a backyard pool when he was 16 months old.
After James’ death in 1997, Amy and her husband, Jeffrey, did little things — like donating his viable organs and planting a tree at Carl Levin Park in Harker Heights — in memory of him.
James would have turned 18 in May and likely graduated from a local high school.
This year, to honor James, the Huberts donated $2,500 to the Killeen Independent School District’s Alumni Association for the James K. Hubert Memorial Scholarship, which will be awarded to a graduating senior.
“We’ve been trying to do things to make something good out of bad, as much as you can,” said Amy Hubert, adding she knows the influence education can have in positively transforming someone’s 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.
The day the story ran, the foundation received a $500 donation to increase the amount of the scholarship to $3,000.
The donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, told Joyce Hodson, Killeen ISD Education Foundation director, that she wanted to donate to the memorial scholarship because Amy’s husband, Dr. Jeffrey Hubert, “is the best doctor in all of Scott & White, and I want to help sustain the memory of his son.”
Another organization also donated $1,000 for an additional scholarship the day the story ran.
While some people turn to negativity in light of tragic situations, Amy Hubert didn’t. And, by embodying a positive attitude, she is not only sustaining the memory of her son, but also helping future generations accomplish their goals.
One of the most rewarding aspects of telling someone’s story is knowing it made a difference in the community.
Although Amy Hubert admitted she was hesitant to share her story, she was glad it encouraged others to donate to the foundation.
“That is exactly why I did the story,” she said. “I was hoping it might spur more scholarships.”