Adriana Samantha Visser Memorial Scholarship (SV6350)
The Adriana Samantha Visser Memorial Scholarship honors Adriana Samantha Visser, a bright little girl with the courage and fortitude to lovingly face an impossible situation. One scholarship is awarded each spring pending available funding and applied to the following fall.
Adriana Samantha Visser was born in Dallas, Texas, on August 1, 1976. By the age of two it was clear to her parents, Mary and Sent, that she was not developing normally. A diagnosis of Sanfilippo Syndrome was not made until Adriana was 5 years old. Sanfilippo Syndrome is an inherited lysosomal sugar storage disease. From the age of 5, Adriana regressed mentally and physically until her death at the age of 12, on September 12, 1988.
Adriana’s persistence in learning, while her body and mind were rapidly failing, offers remarkable insight into human will and the desire for life. She is survived by two younger, healthy siblings, Dirk and Marieke. Mary is Professor of Art at Southwestern University and Sent is a retired Associate Professor of Geography from Texas State. Their daughter’s illness was emotionally and physically draining, but they felt it was the right thing to continue their careers and to give meaning to their daughter’s life through their work.
They wish to help mothers pursue the dual careers of raising children and seeking an academic degree. One of the things the Visser’s needed most while caring for Adriana was respite. They hope that this award may provide assistance in this way, or in some other way, to keep a mom in school and/or to raise the quality of her life and that of her children.
- Preference will be given to a female who is either an undergraduate or graduate student in good standing as a major or minor in geography
- Preference will be given to the caregiver of a disabled or handicapped child (see criterion #3)
- if no one is eligible under criterion #2, the scholarship may be awarded to the caregiver of one or more dependent children