Laila Arman Memorial Scholarship keeps beloved child’s legacy alive
“There is no greater pain to the human heart that can compare to the torment of losing your child.”
Those are the words of Nick Arman, Fullerton College’s academic counselor in the Veterans Resource Center.
While Arman and his family can’t change what happened to their much-loved, 16-month-old child, Laila Arman, they have found a way to honor her with a memorial scholarship at Brandman University, where Arman will graduate May 22 with a doctorate of education in organizational leadership.
He hopes that continuing Laila’s legacy will bring joy and inspiration for the students who receive the scholarship, just as she did “for everyone who knew her since the day she was born.”
The accident that took Laila’s life in March happened one week before Arman was scheduled to defend his dissertation, which he did successfully.
“The entire Brandman School of Education has been deeply affected by this and the doctoral community, in particular, have provided consistent support,” said Dr. Christine Zeppos, dean of the School of Education. “On a personal note, I have known thousands of students over my 22-year career … Nick is among the small handful I consider to have the greatest character and demonstration of kindness.”
Arman said the outpouring of love he and his family have received is deeply appreciated and reflects his experiences throughout his doctoral journey.
“Since day one, I have only known support, received guidance and mentorship, and most importantly the sense of a family unit. The faculty truly exemplifies what leadership is, and have modeled how to lead by example,” he said.
Although he and his family know they will always miss Laila, the scholarship will keep her name and memory alive, not just among family and friends, but everywhere.
“We try to live each day by starting our mornings with her love, and ending it by wishing her a good night. We are taking this pain and void in our hearts one breath at a time, until we see her again. The support we have received and continue to receive from family, friends, and members of our community, has been key to our ability to cope with the loss thus far. Although we have yet to thank each person individually, we want everyone who has touched our hearts since this tragedy to know that their friendship and support has not gone unnoticed,” said Arman.
Arman, who began working as a faculty member in counseling at Fullerton College last July, plans to continue counseling students, teaching and conducting research and supporting student success in any way he can, with the ultimate goal of moving into an administrative position. He plans to obtain a California professional clinical counselor licensure (LPCC) with the goal of one day donating his time to support other parents and family members who lost young children.
Contributions to the Laila Arman Memorial Scholarship Fund may be made through iDonate and the Brandman website, www.brandman.edu/donate. At the field marked “choose your designation,” select “Laila Arman Memorial Scholarship Fund.”
(This story written Cindy O’Dell, communications manager at Brandman University, was originally posted here and reposted with permission from Brandman University.)