HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. — It was a tradition for Eduardo Uvaldo to attend the Highland Park Fourth of July Parade on a yearly basis. This year was no different.

The 69-year-old was in attendance, per usual, with his wife of 50 years, Maria, and their daughter Nubia’s family. When gunfire interrupted the celebration, Maria and Uvaldo’s grandson were injured, while Uvaldo was one of the seven who lost their lives that day.

“My dad was a family man,” said one of his daughters, Karina Mendez. “All of his daughters, his grandkids, my mom especially, we were his world.”

Uvaldo’s death left a void in his family’s world — but now — they are choosing to honor him by creating a concrete means to memorialize the lessons he taught his family.

“When he came to the US, he always worked, hard work, labor and so he didn’t want us to do the same,” Said Nubia Hogan, a daughter of Uvaldo.

Uvaldo immigrated to the United States from Nuevo Leon, Mexico when he was 15 yers old, working landscaping and janitorial jobs along the way to support his family, who he always told education is the secret to success.

“Even to all the grand kids, he was like ‘go to school, go to school,'” Mendez said. “Since education was so important to him, it was a way we felt we could honor him because we could help other kids or young adults go to college and get an education.”

That honor is Uvaldo’s family starting two $500 academic scholarships for students nationwide who’ve lost a loved one in a mass shooting.

The family hopes to grow the scholarship over time, extending the impact of the dad and grandfather they loved so much.

“The more students we help, the more we feel like my dad is helping,” Mendez said. “We want his name to live on.”

Uvaldo’s family plan to have the scholarships fully funded by Jan. 30, at which point they will open up the application process and select the recipients by July, 2023.