Four years after she was killed in her Scottsdale home, Allison Feldman’s family and friends continue to keep her legacy alive with potential life-changing experiences for students at the University of Arizona.
The Allison Feldman Memorial Scholarship campaign is in its second year of funding study-abroad trips to approximately 60 countries, like Allison’s 2004 trip to Alcalá de Henares, Spain.
It’s taken a group effort to reach the first goal, which was to fund the $25,000 endowment that will forever be in Allison’s name with the UA Foundation. The campaign raised a total of $29,500 by the time it ended.
Today, Taylor Lepird, a UA student majoring in English and global studies, is in Guatemala thanks to donors.
“Her legacy may not be how she wanted to leave it, but it’s something that she can have in her name that she will always be remembered by,” said Robert Stirling, who Allison befriended during the Spain trip.
It was that trip to Spain that changed Allison’s life forever, said Harley Feldman, Allison’s father, adding that once she arrived there “she didn’t want to come back.”
“It isn’t just the growing up, but it’s exposure to other cultures and understanding people better and you just learn a lot that you can’t learn at home,” Harley Feldman said. “It was the best thing that ever happened to her.”
A day after the second campaign launched on Friday, nearly 70 percent of the $10,000 goal had been reached. The campaign will remain open until March 3.
The support has strengthened her family and friends to continue their mission.
“You never get over the loss, but there is a remaking of life. Helping these students study abroad is part of the remaking of somebody else’s life and this really helped me,” said Elayne Feldman, Allison’s mother.
Allison Feldman was found dead in her Scottsdale home on Feb. 18, 2015.
She had been thriving at work, was a new homeowner of eight months and had surrounded herself with a network of friends and family.
Her death started Harley Feldman’s journey to speak with Scottsdale police and Arizona legislators that led to new DNA testing equipment used in the case. But it would take three years to find her alleged killer in April 2018.
Four years later, friends, family and supporters gathered at the UA’s Women’s Plaza of Honor to remember Allison Feldman and share memories of a woman who “always had a smile on her face,” said Katie Wood, her best friend.
“I didn’t know Allison during that time in her life, but I knew the Allison that came out from that time in her life and the confident woman that she was,” said Wood. “She honestly inspired me to become the confident, working woman that I am today.”