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Paying it Forward: The Brynn Ashtyn Memorial Scholarship - VIDEO LINK
In the City of Buda's latest "Paying It Forward (Is a Budaful Thing)" video segment, Communications Director David Marino sat down with the family of Brynn Ashtyn Aylor. The 16-year-old Hays High School Sophomore was killed two years ago in a car accident. In the wake of the tragedy, her family established the Brynn Ashtyn Memorial Scholarship.
“Brynn was 16 and attended Hays High School. She had gorgeous long blonde hair. She was very sassy, very stubborn, anf independent from the time she was a little girl. She loved nature and animals and loved to be outside. She was just super fun to be around. She had a great personality, a huge smile, and a very annoying giggle that everybody loved and talked about,” said Jill Eddleman, Brynn's mother.
“She had just started at her job at the YMCA. She was watching the kids in the nursery and she aspired to do something with children. She talked about maybe being a nurse or a doctor," said Keith Eddleman, Brynn's stepfather.
Brynn Ashtyn Aylor was the light and laughter of her family. Two years ago that light dimmed when the Hays High School sophomore was killed in a car accident. Brynn was well-known at Hays High and played on the softball team.
Jill says the idea to start the scholarship came from a friend.
“After Brynn’s accident, a triathlon coach friend of mine had this idea to start a scholarship in Brynn’s name. She went ahead and started it through "Go Fund Me". We alerted the community and our friends and family about it”
For Brynn’s mom Jill and stepdad Keith, the outpouring from the community was overwhelming.
“The scholarship has been absolutely amazing. It does go back to the community’s outpouring at the time of the accident,” said Keith.
“We were very grateful and surprised at the amount of people in our community who stepped up in Buda, Kyle, and San Marcos. Companies, businesses, and restaurants were donating proceeds,” said Jill.
The scholarship in Brynn’s name keeps her memory alive, while helping other young women achieve their academic goals.
“With the money that was funded we decided to create a scholarship for a Hays High School softball girl who is going to be attending college. They will fill out an application and apply for it and whatever proceeds that we raise that year will go towards that girl to help her attend the college of her choice.”
The first scholarship was awarded last year to Brynn’s classmate and friend Abbie Blackwell. Brynn and Abbie had been friends since they were very young.
“We were laughing all the time. Her laugh was just amazing so hilarious and funny. We were super involved in each others everyday lives,” said Blackwell.
Abbie is now a freshman softball player at Texas State University. She ways receiving the scholarship was extremely emotional.
“It was really overwhelming. I felt super happy and grateful. Just knowing that it was in her name meant more than any other scholarship I could get. Just knowing the meaning behind it and how many people supported us and Brynn’s parents. Everybody around me was supporting me and hugging me. It was really awesome.”
If you want to help fund the Brynn Ashtyn Memorial Scholarship, it’s easy.
“We have a link on go fund me and it is Brynn Ashtyn Memorial Scholarship. You just click on the link and you can donate whatever you like. It goes into a bank account that we accrue and we give it to the winner at the end of the school year.” ( https://www.gofundme.com/brynn-ashtyn-memorial-scholarship)
Jill says she also formed a handbag company in Brynn’s name and part of the proceeds from those purchases go to the scholarship as well.
“This year would have been Brynn’s graduating class, so there will be eight girls up for the scholarship this year. It is going to be a really emotional year for us because these were her very best friends. Most of them from the time they were little. I just want the community to know that we are doing this in Brynn’s honor and in her memory and that whatever girl receives the scholarship will get to take Brynn with them to school and take her memory. They are carrying a little piece of Brynn with them to college.”