Scholarship lifts spirits of teen whose dad was battling COVID

Updated: February 01, 2021 06:58 PM
Created: February 01, 2021 04:41 PM

Addison Gray was worried her father was going to die because of COVID 19. "Those were the days we were talking about his will," she recalled of the mid-November time frame. The 17-year-old is a senior at Hermantown.

In fact, Kevin Gray was being moved into the ICU at St. Luke's. During the flurry of calls and texts, she received one that had decidedly better news. U.S. Bank notified her she won a $10,000 scholarship.

She made sure to let her dad know. "He was barely keeping his eyes open. And it was hard for him to hold the phone. And I said, hey I just won a $10,000 scholarship. And he went, what?"

It was the ray of hope they needed, to keep focused on better days ahead. "It was a positive distraction," shared Kevin Gray, the St. Louis County administrator. "I feel very fortunate to be here today. I'm still on a recovery path, but the progress is good."

"I can't ignore how lucky I am," Addison said. "It's not just the money, it's that my dad is OK, and things are getting better."

Now, Addison is preparing to graduate from Hermantown and attend UW-Eau Claire. She wants to become a nurse.

"They can make or break your stay. And they are the ones making the patients comfortable, especially when they can't have family around during COVID," Addison said.

U.S. Bank said her scholarship is just one of a handful awarded out of thousands and thousands of applications.

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