Story by Daniella Hernandez
In the midst of the mourning, friends and family members of former MSU Denver student and victim of the Aurora shooting, Jessica Ghawi, are helping keep her memory alive.
One of Ghawi’s dreams was to ensure that everyone who had lost their sports gear in Colorado’s wildfires was able to recover it.
On Sept. 8, sports enthusiasts flocked to the Pepsi Center to help the former Roadrunner’s dream come to reality. With the help of the charity A Precious Child, the giveSPORTS equipment drive collected new and used sports gear to those who lost their equipment in the wildfires over the summer. Some of the Denver Nugget players took time out of their schedules to show their support and help unload all of the merchandise.
“We probably had close to 500 people come through the line,” said Aaron Smith, event coordinator. “It was an overwhelming event, it was awesome. We brought in over 25,000 individual donated goods. “
Alongside all of the merchandise that was collected, $40,000 was collected to go towards the Jessica Redfield Ghawi Scholarship fund.
Ghawi was a broadcast journalism major at MSU Denver and was pursuing her dreams of being in sports broadcasting.
“Jordan [Ghawi’s brother] decided to set it up a couple of days after the shooting in memory of her. He wanted to earn $20,000 in 2 months and he earned that in two days,” said Tanya Sammis, of the Sammis & Ochoa Public Relations Agency.
Since the fund was created in July, more than 80,000 dollars has been raised to help students pay their way through school.
“The scholarship is geared toward female college students studying sports journalism and broadcast journalism,” Sammis said.
Also, to honor Ghawi’s accomplishments, the university has agreed to award her with an honorary bachelors degree in December.
“I couldn’t think of a more appropriate way to honor the kind of person she was. I think the school helped her incredible legacy not only as an incredible human being, but a Metro State graduate,” Smith said.
The MSU Denver Board of Trustees voted in their Sept. 6 meeting to award the posthumous degree to Ghawi for her success and contribution during her time at the university.
“Jessica certainly would have earned this degree,” said Marilyn Starrett, assistant professor of journalism. “She was bright, worked hard and knew what she wanted to do. She was a breath of fresh air in the classroom. We all wish she were here to accept her degree.”
People: Jessica Ghawi