Remembering Anahi

In Spring 2014, during our nomination period for the TWLP Student Enrichment Grant, Anahi Tovar was put forward as a nominee. Her dream was to attend Hip Hop dance classes. Tragically, this young 14-year-old never had the chance to fulfill that dream. An automobile accident claimed her life and her father’s on April 2, 2014, merely two weeks following the submission of her grant application. Though I never had the opportunity to meet Anahi personally, her untimely passing deeply moved both myself and my peers at The Wish List Project.


After considerable thought, we decided to meet with Anahi’s mother and ask permission to set up a Dance Award in her daughter’s name. Even though we didn’t get to fulfill Anahi’s wish of taking dance lessons, we wanted to carry on her legacy by allowing other young people just like Anahi, to reach their goals through dance and movement classes. We met with Mrs. Tovar several months later, and it was difficult to show our sincerity at creating something good out of something so horrible. Her grief was dignified and hidden, yet it pained me to be with her, knowing our “good thing” was an ongoing reminder of her great loss. It felt somewhat invasive, yet she was more than generous in allowing us to move forward with our request.

Fast forward to 2017 and a recent post that a dear friend forwarded to me. It was the sentencing of the two young men who took the lives of Anahi and her father. I spent that evening thinking about Anahi, and especially her mother. And I wondered if she was given any sense of relief by the sentencing, or if it was just a painful reminder of the worst day of her life. I never got to meet Anahi, and yet three and a half years later,  I still remember her smile.

The Wish List Project continues to honor the legacy of Anahi Tovar through the Anahi Dance Award. You can honor Anahi’s short yet meaningful life as well:

  • Share this page. Tell others about Anahi and the lasting impact her life will have by giving other kids the opportunity to dance.
  • Nominate a student for the Anahi Dance Award by downloading an application here.
  • Donate here to help fund more students who aspire to dance, just like Anahi.

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