SUMNER COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — A Middle Tennessee couple donated a communication device to a student in Sumner County after a district educator helped provide the same special gift to another student.

We all met Station Camp High School student Jackson Hurt about six weeks ago on Good Morning Nashville.

“He’s amazing with this device,” said Kristin Lazenby at the time. She’s a speech-language pathologist who works to address augmented and alternative communication for Sumner County Schools.

She applied and won Jackson a grant for a device that not only helps him with reading but it gave him the voice he never had before.

“He knows that’s his way to tell people things and that’s special,” Jackson’s teacher Ashley Wood told News 2 last month. “I think he’s made the connection of okay I have a voice now and that’s important because all of our kids have voices, it’s just we all communicate differently.”

Joey and Susan Hickman wanted another student to have that voice as well after seeing Jackson’s story on News 2. The couple started the Shelby Foundation in 2009 to help other children with special needs. It’s named after their daughter Shelby, who was non-verbal and non-ambulatory but she’s described as a social child with a contagious smile and a sweet spirit.

Shelby died in January 2022 and donations given in her memory will now help another child. Thanks to the Shelby Foundation, Portland East Middle School student Ian Minor is getting a communication device of his own.

(L-R) Joey Hickman, Ian Minor, Susan Hickman, and Kathy Minor

“We are very excited to do this and know the challenges these families face,” the Shelby Foundation Founder, Joey Hickman said. “This is a lasting legacy for Shelby’s memory, but it gets to help Ian and others like Ian, and we are grateful for that.”

The Hickmans paid more than $4,000 for a Nova Chat 5 device that will help Ian communicate with words just like Jackson.

“As a parent, you don’t realize all the needs your child will have but with the gracious hearts of the Hickmans, it’s amazing.” Ian’s mother, Kathy Minor said. “There are no words to describe it.”

The Shelby Foundation is a non-profit organization that raises money through events like The Shelby Hickman Memorial Celebrity Golf Scramble. I’ll be held Monday, August 29, 2022, at Old Hickory Country Club. Events like the golf tournament help the foundation meet the needs of children and young adults with disabilities. Click here to learn more: