Oklahoma family creates scholarship to honor son
A novel written by a Durant teen is published and now for sale. One year ago, he lost his battle with mental health. His family wanted to keep his memory alive while benefiting other young people.
"You don't get over that loss, it's something that will always be with us," said Jamie's mother, Suzy Weber.
His family recently celebrated the release of his novel, The War of Walneyria, that Jamie wrote before he died.
"It was released on April 7th. April 8th would have been his 18th birthday. So I hear him in my head saying 'I was a published author before I turned 18,'" said Weber.
Proceeds from book sales along with donations helped fund a scholarship in his name.
"Now as of Thursday, we have raised $11,500," said Weber.
They still need to raise $4,000 to make the scholarship fully endowed to keep their son's memory alive.
"Our community here in Durant has just, they've been amazing. We've had personal friends donate every month. We've had businesses donate to the fundraisers. Everybody's helped wherever they can," said Weber.
From a young age, Jamie had planned on going to college.
"He was a very intelligent young man, he had done well in school, always a straight-A student. But we knew that by opening that scholarship, having his name on it, everybody that receives it and sees his name and remember Jamie in that way," said Weber.
The first Jamie Weber scholarship recipient has already been chosen. A Denison student studying early education at SOSU received 2 $500 awards in memory of Jamie.
Jamie was inspired by his favorite teacher to write.
"Everything that he wrote, that he would give to her she would say 'I want to read more, I want to hear more about these characters," said Weber.
That's why they chose an education major.
"Everybody out there has a favorite teacher. That one person that we all remember that sparked something in us that made us want to do better. And I want that teacher to be somebody that got this scholarship," said Weber.
Jamie's novel, The War of Walneyria, is being sold by several major bookstores: