Alison Des Forges story began 7,200 miles away from Western New York.
She was a historian and human rights activist. Des Forges headed an international Human Rights Watch of New York panel. Her husband, Roger, says they predicted the Rwandan genocide.
She never stopped fighting, so after her death, Roger couldn’t either.
Each April to mark when the Rwandan genocide happened, the University at Buffalo hosts a symposium, drawing scholars and activists from around the world.
But, Roger and others who admired Alison’s work were faced with a second task, inspiring younger generations to keep the fight going.
Longtime friend of Alison, Helene Kramer started a scholarship in her name. Buffalo high school graduates who wanted to work in some way in the field of human rights, get tuition assistance for UB.
To date, the fund has helped about a half a dozen students.
Giving to students was the legacy Lorin Maurer’s family felt would be best, too. After all, the-30-year-old was a social butterfly, who dabbled in just about everything and was always dreaming.
Theresa and Scott did what moms and dads do best: make their children’s dreams come true. A scholarship in Lorin’s name was formed at Wilson High School. It’s given to senior student-athlete who best exemplifies the character, passion and attributes that Lorin displayed. So far 10 students have been awarded the scholarship.
There’s also the Lorin Tree. The Christmas tree goes up each year in the Maurer’s home. It serves as a source of healing for friends, family, even strangers.
A decade later and hundreds of ornaments decorate the tree, offering the smiles and laughs that Lorin would’ve given.