- To provide awards for the advancement of post-secondary education for youth who have experienced significant loss or adversity and have shown resiliency despite these losses.
- To provide resources to help youth and others gain resiliency after significant loss or adversity.
- To promote in families who have experienced significant loss or adversity the importance of choosing resiliency.
- To foster the awareness of more compassionate societal support for youth experiencing grief.
We believe that the seed of resilience is already within every young person facing adversity in their lives and that we all have the power to create the conditions for that seed to take hold. We can water it with love, nurture it with compassion and nourish it with nonjudgmental acceptance of their feelings and experiences. By doing this, we as their families, friends and community can encourage them to Choose 2Be Resilient.
Although the original intent of this scholarship was to pay tribute to Zach and Kaya, it has become increasingly clear that it is also to recognize and pay tribute to the incredible resilience that their brothers, Ben, Nathaniel, Jackson and Isaac, have shown and will continue to show throughout the ups and downs of their lifetimes.
Who Are We?
We are the parents of 6 amazing children! We are Jennifer and Duncan Firth and Darlene and Jeff Sutherland.
Our mutual horrific loss brought us together initially to help each of us grieve our wonderful children. Each week since the loss, we have helped each other find Kaya and Zach again. We are not “OK” with the physical absence of our children but we have chosen that to honor their lives we must give their spirits legacy. We started from our deep knowledge of how much love they have for their family and friends and how strong their desire for healing is for all of us. Their lives were lived in love, compassion, kindness and genuine acceptance of others and by focusing on this message of their lives, we discovered that these same qualities are what nurture resilience.
We want to share this message of hope and healing to help other young people and their families find a path forward after unimaginable loss.