"Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside of them was superior to circumstance." ~Bruce Barton

Zykeya Williams-Butler (affectionately referred to as "Zee") was an exceptional young lady. Everywhere she turned, she burst through the status quo and displayed her superiority with very few words, but many deeds. First and foremost, she loved the Lord. She was definitely her daddy's little girl as well. She was a track champion, a prolific dancer and a trailblazer. As the first African-American prom queen ever to grace her high school, she earned one achievement after the other with refreshing grace and humility. And...she was a WARRIOR.

At the age of 17, just after earning the title of prom queen, she was diagnosed with a vicious and rare form of cancer. She fought her initial battle with verve and confidence, in spite of the fact that she had to re-learn how to do basic tasks like walking and eating. She came through that battle on pointed toes and extended arms, pirouetting her way through the storm.

Unfortunately, during the latter part of her freshman year of college, the cancer that had been in remission came back with force. She and her parents went from one state to another seeking out treatments that would prolong her chances of living. All the while, Zee was adamant about remaining in school and continuing her education.

One day, after completing a treatment a few hours from home, she told her grandmother that it was time for her to go back to her father and stay there for a while. She wrote out a list of people she wanted to see while she was at home. Every person on the list came to visit, and this 20 year old young lady imparted her love and drive for education within each one of them. As the last person came and went, Zee laid down to rest.

Her stepmother, a nurse, went in to check on her, and she was no longer breathing. She immediately began CPR and called Zee's father. Her father, an officer in the U.S. Army, arrived home, gently carried her to his car and drove to the hospital. Zee never regained consciousness. On July 23, 2008, she danced out of our lives and into the arms of Jesus.

Yet her zest for education lives on, and despite her tragic circumstances, she has left a legacy of untold riches to those still here. The Zykeya Williams-Butler Scholarship Fund is her lasting testament to her commitment to education. Please take some time to apply, donate or tell someone else about it. You can get further information here.

Zee, girl, I miss you. But your grade for your legacy is an "A" in my book. See you in due time!