Moved by the tragedy in Tucson on Jan. 8, Phil and Carol Lyons contacted the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. They asked the College to establish a scholarship in the School of Government and Public Policy (SGPP) in the names of Christina-Taylor Green, who died in the shooting, and Daniel Hernandez Jr., a SGPP student whose bravery helped saved U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ life.
The scholarship fund is open to the community for contributions. The Lyonses have already agreed to donate through a separate fund they established at the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona in the names of Christina-Taylor and Daniel.
“Here’s a young man who had been interning with Rep. Gabrielle Giffords only five days and he put his life at risk to save her,” Phil Lyons said of Hernandez. “And the idea of a young girl losing her life just added to the sadness and tragedy of the entire situation.”
Phil Lyons, part owner of Chicago insurance firm New Century Planners LLC, and his wife, Carol, moved to Arizona in 1999. They spend their winters in Tucson and summers in Flagstaff. Providing this meaningful scholarship support is important to the philanthropic couple.
“I’m a huge believer in equality of opportunity,” Phil Lyons said. “I like the idea of doing something tangible that will affect, hopefully, a lot of lives.”
Born on Sept. 11, 2001, Christina-Taylor had reportedly shown an interest in civics and government from an early age. She had just been elected to the student council at her elementary school and attended Giffords’ “Congress on Your Corner” event to learn more about the political process.
Daniel, 20, is a political science junior in SGPP and was an intern for Giffords when the tragedy struck. He ran toward the gunfire to stay with Giffords and administer first aid that probably saved her life. Daniel has publicly stated since the tragedy that he thinks the “real heroes” are public servants like Congresswoman Giffords—people who dedicate their lives to helping others.
Due to both young people’s interest in government and the fact that Hernandez is a UA political science major, Phil Lyons thought donating to a SGPP scholarship would be a fitting way to honor Christina-Taylor and Daniel.
“I can’t think of a more appropriate way to recognize two young people who have both moved us and inspired us,” said Brint Milward, SGPP director. “This scholarship will help many people who wish to go into public service.”
The School of Government and Public Policy prepares men and women for leadership positions in the public and nonprofit sectors, as well as in private organizations that interact with government. SGPP is one of the largest units at the UA, with approximately 1,700 undergraduates, 96 Master of Public Administration students, and 28 doctoral students.
HOW TO GIVE
If you would like to donate to the Christina-Taylor Green and Daniel Hernandez Jr. Scholarship fund, you can:
• Give online at http://www.uafoundation.org/give/fund/hernandez
• Send a check to Ginny Healy, The University of Arizona, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Douglass 200W, PO Box 210028, Tucson, AZ 85721-0028. The check should be made payable to UA Foundation/ Green & Hernandez Scholarship
For more information, please contact Ginny Healy at firstname.lastname@example.org, (520)621-3938.