My wonderful son Robert is one of those special people that Sarah Palin correctly called "a gift from God." He has certainly been a joy in my life. And on May 12, Robert and I will be in Franklin, Tennessee where a new graduate of Franklin High School will receive the annual scholarship I established in Robert's name three years ago. Robert was given the opportunity to attend college at a time when many, like Robert, had no such encouragment. We live, thank God, in more enlightened times that recognize what those born with special needs can give back to help themselves, their future employers and their community.
The Robert Howell Carter Scholarship is a relatively small amount of money by today's standards, probably only enough to cover fees and books for the recipient when they enter college in the fall. But what is important is not the amount of money, but that the money is going to a student, who like Robert, is one of those "gifts from God," a special needs student who will seek the same opportunity at life's promise that comes so much more readily and easily for their peers who do not have special needs.
My thanks to the ARC of Williamson County, which administers the scholarship - to its Board of Directors and staff and most espcially Sharon Bottroff, who has headed ARC for many years and who is such an invaluable and empathetic advocate in that community for those with special needs and their families.