Thanks to some caring and energetic Bush School students, a young man with a brain tumor will be able to visit Rome and learn more about his faith—the wish he submitted to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants the wish of a child diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition. Jonathan was diagnosed with a malignant neoplasm of the brain when he began having vision problems.
Led by Ashley Warrington and Christine Rafiekian, both of whom have volunteered with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Bush School students chose to fulfill a wish submitted to the foundation in honor of the twenty-fifth anniversary of President George H. W. Bush participating in the 500th wish for the national Make-A-Wish organization. They worked with the School’s Public Service Organization, holding several fundraising events on campus and soliciting donations from faculty, staff, and students.
On April 4, Jonathon learned that his wish would be granted at a private lunch in Houston with his family; friends; members of the Make-A-Wish organization advisory committee; and Warrington and Rafiekian, the Bush School initiative organizers.
Warrington said the day was very special—a celebration of how far Jonathan has come, and an opportunity to hear his story.
“Jonathan spoke movingly, thanking his family for their support through this difficult time and thanking the Bush School for making his wish come true,” said Warrington.
The students presented Jonathan with a basket of goodies for his trip, including a model of the Avenger plane that President Bush flew in WWII, a copy of All the Best signed by President Bush, a Bush School t-shirt, a personalized rosary, and a Rome travel book. Since Jonathan’s dream is to be a pilot, the gifts from President Bush were especially meaningful.
“We firmly subscribe to President Bush’s belief that public service is a noble calling,” said Warrington, “And we believe that giving to the Make-A-Wish Foundation honors that belief. This successful project would not have been possible without the dedication of our fellow students; the School’s faculty, staff, and alumni; and the strong moral and financial support of President and Mrs. Bush; former acting dean, Andrew Card; and the Bush Foundation,” she added.
Warrington is a first-year Master of Public Service and Administration student, and Rafiekian is a first year student in the Master of International Affairs program. Of the students’ leadership and service efforts, Bush School Dean Ryan Crocker said, “I am proud to see our students take this initiative to start a new project, see it through to completion, and change a young man’s life, while studying to be leaders and public servants for our communities and nation. This successful effort is yet another testament to the dedicated leadership, service, and quality of Bush School students.”