Little Girl's Dreams Shine On

Alumna mom establishes scholarship in memory of daughter

Little Girl’s Dreams Shine On

Marlie Kai Dodson's family at the College of Nursing scholarship signing ceremony

A  little girl will have a big impact on countless lives thanks to the Marlie Kai Dodson UCF Oncology Nursing Endowed Scholarship.

Marlie’s mom, Sarah Dodson, ’o1, established the scholarship after losing her 8-year-old daughter to a lifelong battle with brain cancer on Dec. 31. Now, it will forever honor that brave little girl who dreamed of becoming a UCF cheerleader.

The scholarship gift agreement was signed April 26 and will become endowed once it reaches the $25,000 mark.

Inspired by her daughter’s spirited dreams, Sarah has also decided to establish an additional scholarship in cheerleading, especially since she hasn’t seen or heard of many cheerleader nursing students. “Marlie probably would’ve been the first one,” she added.

While touring the classrooms and labs at the UCF College of Nursing, Sarah told Dean Jean Leuner about the nice, thoughtful UCF nursing students who visited with Marlie when she was in treatment at Arnold Palmer Hospital. Some even brought her gifts at the end of their shifts, Sarah said.

It’s easy to see why Marlie became an instant fan of all things UCF. In addition to her mom, four other family members are alumni, including her aunts, Jennifer Agnew, ’94, April Agnew, ’97, and Rebecca Dodson, ’11, and her uncle, Robert Agnew, ’99, who used to buy Marlie a new UCF cheerleading uniform every time she grew out of one.

The Marlie Kai Dodson UCF Oncology Nursing Endowed Scholarship will support future caregivers. Once fully funded, the scholarship will exist in perpetuity and be open to any nursing student who is committed to making an impact on others’ lives.

If you would like to support this scholarship, please contact Katie Korkosz at 407.823.1600 or katiek@ucf.edu.