From the Nominator
“A Little Girl’s Big Legacy” tells the story of Skylar Herbert, a joyous and bright five-year-old girl who became the first child in Michigan to die from coronavirus complications. It was April 2020, the beginning of the pandemic. Skylar’s parents, LaVondria and Ebbie Herbert—both first responders in Detroit, Michigan—admitted their daughter to the hospital. What all started with a severe headache eventually resulted in a positive test for COVID-19. At a time when children were thought to be unaffected by the coronavirus, the news was both shocking and devastating to the Herberts.
On April 19, Skylar passed away after developing complications from the virus, and her story began to spread nationwide.
Hundreds of miles away in Virginia, Bruce Hiler, a University of Michigan alumnus, and his wife, Elaine Cacheris, heard the Herbert family’s story. They wanted to do something to help, and were moved to honor not only the young life lost, but also Skylar’s parents for their service as first responders during an unprecedented crisis. In April 2020, they created the Skylar Herbert Memorial Scholarship to honor her memory. The scholarship supports students whose parents are first responders, with a preference for students whose parents serve in the city of Detroit.
This is the story of a vibrant young life cut short by an unpredictable and unprecedented virus, and the donors that sought to turn a tragedy into a small triumph.
From the Judges
What set this feature apart from a slew of COVID-19 features was its focus on the humanity from the angle of this one particular girl. It was extremely moving.