LOUISA COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Multiple times a week you can find first responder, Jennifer Ford, volunteering at the Holly Grove Rescue Squad responding to calls and teaching teens life-saving skills.
“Last year, I put in close to 1,200 volunteer hours at the rescue squad between running rescue, teaching CPR, doing the county stuff,” Ford told 8News.
With the help of her employer, she’s able to give even more to those teens through the Andrew Michael Memorial Scholarship, a scholarship made in honor of her late son.
Andrew Michael Ford, or Drew, as his mom calls him will always be remembered for his witty personality and jokes.
“He was a character,” Ford explained. “He liked to laugh and he liked to pretend.”
Drew was born with an extremely rare disease called Menkes. Doctors didn’t expect him to live past three years old.
“He was very much like a cerebral palsy patient,” Ford said. “We taught him how to communicate with eye gaze. He did everything we did. We’d bring him camping and set up his IV polls in the tents. He was on oxygen and feeding tubes, but that didn’t stop him. He did everything with us.”
Drew lived to be 16. After his passing in 2014, Ford threw herself into service. On top of her full-time job at Dominion Energy, she volunteers as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT at the Holly Grove Rescue Squad where she leads the Juniors program. She teaches teens CPR, how to treat injuries and has also been giving vaccines to the county’s patients.
“We’re now up to nine juniors,” Ford said. “Then, I basically put the program on four pillars. Fun, fundraising, training and community service.”
To keep Drew’s memory alive, she created a scholarship with the help of Dominion’s Dollars for Doers program.
This year’s recipient, Audrey Allison, a senior apart of the Juniors program, plans to use the money for school at Virginia Tech in the fall.
“It really made me feel just so honored to have someone think of me like that,” Allison told 8News.
Ford says the scholarship is something her son would be proud of.
“He would smile,” Ford said. “He would think it was great. He was a sweet soul. He would’ve loved it.”
Ford also recently won Dominion Energy’s Volunteer of the Year Award and made a $5,000 donation to the Holly Grove Volunteer Rescue Squad.