The Scholarship Fund Gets Media Attention

I’m dealing with a post-Speech Team hangover today now that the state tournament is over.

Yesterday, after two days of competition, two of my kids were state runners-up in their respective events and another duo took third place (our team took 7th overall). It’s nothing to complain about, since those are still great accomplishments, but I know how hard those kids worked to be state champions and it’s frustrating when you fall just short of that. They’re incredible kids, though, and there’s a lot of pride from all of the coaches on our team when you know they’re going to go off to college with that much talent in their back pockets.

Anyway, while I was away for the weekend, the Jessica Ahlquist scholarship story got a lot of media attention. Like here and here and here and here.

It’s not too late to contribute — I’m keeping the fundraiser going through the end of the month:

(If the widget isn’t updating, just clear your cookies/cache or try a different browser.)

If PayPal isn’t your thing, you can donate directly to the American Humanist Association (since they will ultimately take care of the fund) — just make sure your donation is earmarked for Jessica — or send a check to them.

If you’d like to read the posts that have been written on this site about Jessica, just click here.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Anonymous

    Though it’s been said before, I’d just like to say again that I think the SSA or FFRF or AHA or someone should create a permanent fund for supporting young atheists who put themselves out there. I’m thrilled that we supported Damon and now Jessica, but as time goes on and more and more high school atheists become active, it would be good to have money on hand to support those who require it. It would especially help in those cases where their actions on behalf of secularism led to the withdrawal of support from their parents, like happened in the case of Damon.

  • Anonymous

    Though it’s been said before, I’d just like to say again that I think the SSA or FFRF or AHA or someone should create a permanent fund for supporting young atheists who put themselves out there. I’m thrilled that we supported Damon and now Jessica, but as time goes on and more and more high school atheists become active, it would be good to have money on hand to support those who require it. It would especially help in those cases where their actions on behalf of secularism led to the withdrawal of support from their parents, like happened in the case of Damon.

  • Gordon Duffy

    As you’d expect some of the comments are painful to read. 

  • http://twitter.com/donovanable pervasivegoodness

    Why exactly is scholarship in quotes in the second article? 

    • Ggsillars

      Well, notice that that article was in the “Christian Post” and the tone was generally pretty snarky.  It also repeated the rumor, which Jessica has denied, that she was planning to transfer to another school.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Stephan-Goodwin/676660806 Stephan Goodwin

      It is the Christian Post.  It is a news source like Fox News is a news source.  

      It is sad that I don’t see any of the articles pointing out that the banner was a clear violation of the First amendment, and that the lawsuit was never in question. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Stephan-Goodwin/676660806 Stephan Goodwin

      It is the Christian Post.  It is a news source like Fox News is a news source.  

      It is sad that I don’t see any of the articles pointing out that the banner was a clear violation of the First amendment, and that the lawsuit was never in question. 

    • Bryan

      That Christian Post article had more spin on it than a dreidel at Hanukkah.

  • BrentSTL

    The fund was also mentioned last night on the ShockNet Radio Internet radio show American Heathen, co-hosted by RJ Evans, David 2 and 2Buck Chuck. It airs at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT Saturdays on ShockNet (http://www.shocknetradio.com).

    Jessica’s case was the subject of discussion on last night’s show (a podcast will be available at the AH website [http://www.americanheathen.net ] Friday) and it was also the subject of a special comment on the American Heathen blog today by David 2. Here it is: http://theamericanheathen.com/2012/02/19/it-is-a-game-of-inches-a-special-comment-by-david-2/

  • http://www.facebook.com/cburschka Christoph Burschka

    This is really cool. Wishing Jessica lots of fun in her future studies. :)

    Is it true that the Evil Little Thing shirt sales aren’t yet included in the total? I guess that’d add a bit.

    Edit: I’ll also second the suggestion of permanent scholarship funds. The FFRF has some activist awards already (which Jessica got earlier); off the cuff I can think of these:

    http://ffrf.org/outreach/awards/student-activist-awards/
    http://ffrf.org/news/releases/ffrf-announces-atheists-in-foxholes-support-fund/

    I haven’t yet looked into what the AHA and SSA are doing in that regard.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Hemant Mehta

      That’s true. The shirts are not included yet, nor are any donations made to the AHA for the fund.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Hemant Mehta

      That’s true. The shirts are not included yet, nor are any donations made to the AHA for the fund.

  • Ggsillars

    Let’s go for $50,000!

  • Ggsillars

    Let’s go for $50,000!

  • Greisha

    I am glad we chipped in too.

    Hemant:

    Congradulations on publicity!   Way to go.

    Teacher, mathematician, atheist – best qualifications for public office in my opinion.  Hope to see you there some day.

    Greisha

  • Adam.B

     Is anyone else having a problem with the chipin widget because I got a warning page when I clicked it.

  • Adam.B

     Is anyone else having a problem with the chipin widget because I got a warning page when I clicked it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/AnonymousBoy Larry Meredith

     The Huffington Post article has… OVER 9000 COMMENTS?!

    OVER 9000!!!

    I just had do.

  • JoeBuddha

    I wonder how many of these screaming fanatics are also indignant about the number of “illegal aliens” in the country because they’re, you know, illegal? Maybe we should stop talking “unconstitutional” and start talking “illegal”. After all, why use a twenty-dollar word when a twenty cent one will do? (Just my $0.02)

  • Marcie

    Congrats to you and your team.  You sound like a great teacher and coach…we need more of those!


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