OGDEN -- Douglas Mullikin could find plenty of ways to spend a spare $500. There's always rent and food to pay for, and Weber State University tuition, fees and books.
Mullikin works two jobs at WSU, where he is a freshman studying business economics. After the 22-year-old finishes his shift at Wildcat Lanes, in Weber State's Shepherd Union, he starts his nightly janitorial job in the same building.
But a few months back, when Mullikin did have an extra few hundred dollars, he created a Weber State scholarship in honor of his mother, Waynette M. Kittrelle, who died of breast cancer in 2007.
"I hope the money will help someone who needs it more than I do," Mullikin said. "All that money would help me, too, but I hope that when a family is paying for chemotherapy and treatments, this scholarship will help cover tuition. I hope it will give them motivation and inspiration.
"I hope if their mother has breast cancer, they can say, 'I got this scholarship, and you don't have to worry about me.' I hope this scholarship will be at least one bit of good news."
The fund started at $500, but Mullikin hopes fundraising efforts will increase the endowment to $25,000 so a scholarship can be awarded each year.
Mullikin wants to make life a little easier for Weber State students dealing with breast cancer, either their own or that of an immediate family member.
Mullikin was in high school when his mother, Kittrelle, a medical coder at Hill Air Force Base, got her diagnosis. She underwent chemotherapy, which ultimately was unsuccessful, and she worked at her job updating medical files until three days before her death.
"I was going through high school at the time, having my fun," Mullikin said. "I wish to this day I had told my mother more that I loved her. You don't know what you have until you lose it. I would cook dinners when she wasn't feeling great, but I didn't show her as much love as I should have."
Mullikin talked with Carol E. Merrill, director of the WSU Women's Center, earlier this year during an on-campus breast cancer awareness campaign. The idea of a scholarship came up, and Mullikin donated what he had, a little more than $300. His grandparents donated nearly $200, and the scholarship had its seed money.
"He is the first student to create a scholarship for another student while at Weber State," Merrill said.
"It's pretty impressive that a student without a great deal of funds is willing to do something for another student. Douglas is an amazing, humble young man."
Asked if his late mother would be proud of the Waynette M. Kittrelle Scholarship, Mullikin laughed.
"Not at all," he said. "She would be absolutely embarrassed. She was very humble. I can picture her right now saying, 'Stop it! What are you doing this for? You're putting me on the spot.' And I can picture myself answering her, 'Whatever, Mom.' "
Want to help?
To donate to the Waynette M. Kittrelle Scholarship Fund, call WSU Development Director Rob Alexander at 801-626-6102 or make out a check to Weber State University and mail it to 4018 University Circle, Ogden, UT 84408-4018. Write in the check's memo line "Waynette M. Kittrelle Scholarship Fund." Donations are tax deductible.