In 2021, we lost our daughter Karli Short and her unborn child to gun violence. Our grief is inexpressible. No parent should know the anguish of losing a child, but our heartache is made more wrenching because it was brought about by a senseless act of gun violence.
Through our loss, we’ve become determined that Karli’s legacy will not be defined by the wrong that was done to her, but by the kindness and compassion that radiated from her. We launched the Karli Short Better Tomorrow Foundation to do what Karli would have done: lift- up those who are struggling.
Mahreen and I launched the “Better Tomorrow” Scholarship Fund to support students at Penn State Greater Allegheny, located in our hometown of McKeesport, Pennsylvania. The endowment assists students with financial needs who have been affected by gun violence.
The scale of these tragedies is staggering. More than 45,000 Americans die from gun-related injuries annually. Gun murders have climbed sharply in recent years. In 2019, The National Council for Home Safety and Security rated McKeesport, Pennsylvania as the 4th most dangerous city in the United States – so there are a lot of young people in that area that could really use our help.
Our scholarship fund endowment has a two-fold purpose. First, to provide financial aid to college students who are grappling with the fallout from gun violence. And second, to ensure undergraduates have the tools and support to leverage their own talents and hard work to reach their tremendous potential—to create a “Better Tomorrow.”
Mahreen and I are humbled to say that through the generosity of so many committed supporters, last year our fundraising efforts and first annual Better Tomorrow gala was a tremendous success. We raised over $600,000 and provided scholarships to three amazing students at Penn State Greater Allegheny.
- Our first recipient was a sophomore who is a business major and also on the basketball team. His father was a victim of gun violence and has been left paraplegic for the last thirty years.
- The second recipient was a junior who is a computer science major. He moved with his family from Egypt during high school for a brighter future. Unfortunately, he was a victim of gun violence three years ago. After a lengthy recovery he is once again in school and excelling.
- The last recipient is a young woman who was a freshman. She was also a victim of gun violence herself when attending a high school graduation party where there was a shooting. She has also had a long road of recovery which is still not finished but she is flourishing at school. She has taken on many leadership roles at the University and is considered a superstar at the college.
Now, we’re asking you to be part of the solution. We invite you to join us in honoring Karli’s memory by adding your support to further strengthen and grow this fund to help students affected by gun violence.