Students for Life Gets Back to Work for Kortney, Sophy and Jon

Opinion   |   Kristan Hawkins   |   Oct 28, 2011   |   10:39AM   |   Washington, DC

By now, most of you know that we are grieving the loss of our friends Kortney Blythe Gordon, her pre-born daughter Sophy Joy, and Jon Scharfenberger, who were killed in a car accident that occurred on October 8th while they were returning from a regional conference in Macon, Georgia.

Our entire team at Students for Life has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of thoughts, prayers, and financial donations from our supporters – which helped to cover burial costs for Kortney, Sophy and Jon – and we can’t thank everyone enough for your support during this incredibly difficult time.

Kortney worked as our Field Director, spearheading our outreach on college campuses across the nation. She had had a long history within the pro-life movement, and as many of you know personally, she was a fearless leader and a compassionate friend in the fight for Life.

Jon worked full-time with our Pregnant on Campus Initiative, traveling from coast to coast to work with pro-life campus groups and build pregnancy-friendly resources on college campuses for pregnant and parenting students. He worked alongside Kortney to train, equip and motivate pro-lifers from across the nation, and in his short time with us, was successful in saving the life of a child whose mother was considering abortion.

These were two of the most dedicated and passionate pro-life leaders I have ever met.  I am blessed to have worked with them and our entire team is thankful to have called them friends.

While we’ve taken time to grieve alongside Jon and Kortney’s families and continue to recover from the loss of our friends, we have not stopped reaching out to our students, we have not stopped providing much-needed resources to campus groups, and we have not let this knock us off the track toward fulfilling our mission of turning the tide in America and ending abortion in our lifetimes.

I want to take a special moment to reach out to our students across the nation with the reminder that Students for Life of America exists to help and support them – and we haven’t let this tragedy stop us. Our goal is to train and equip students on their college campuses in order to give them the opportunity to play a role in ending abortion and reversing the pro-death culture in their communities.

Be it speakers, fliers, workshops, training, one-on-one help, pro-life internship or job opportunities, or pregnancy-friendly materials for schools, we are here to help students spread the culture of Life across America. Our Regional Coordinators work in specific areas across the country to provide students with more personalized assistance and resources. Our auditing prizes and incentives help motivate and reward active groups. We provide customized trainings on pro-life apologetics, starting or growing a group, adoption resources, sidewalk counseling, gaining media attention, event planning and more.

We provide a 9-week internship over the summer that places top pro-life students at our national headquarters, in the office of another national pro-life group, and in a Congressional office on Capitol Hill. We also have a one-year fellowship for pro-life students who want one-on-one mentoring from a national pro-life leader who provides training and resources to prepare student leaders for a future full-time, professional pro-life career. We offer cash incentives for students who find or start pro-life groups, and we make customized plans for installing pregnancy and parenting friendly resources for students on campus.

Whether pro-life students and groups need help getting their group off the ground, taking their group to the next level, hosting a regional pro-life conference in their state, organizing an event, or tackling tough questions, Students for Life of America can help. We want to work alongside our students to create a more pro-life presence on their campuses and turn the tide in our country.

For more information, please visit us online at Thank you for your prayers and support while we grieve the losses of Kortney, Sophy, and Jon. Although we miss our friends dearly, we cannot take a step back in the face of this injustice, and we will not lose this fight.