A MOTHER FIRST. Elizabeth Edwards was many things— lawyer, author, advocate, wife, sister— but first among them she was always a mother. In raising her four children, Elizabeth ensured they had what they needed to succeed and pushed them to become the best version of themselves.

THE CONSTANT ENCOURAGER. She stayed up late with Wade to help with book reports, pushed Cate to pursue her math skills in spite of obstacles, found outlets for Emma’s creativity, and had answers for Jack’s curiosity.

SETTING GOALS. In just one week, Cate and Elizabeth drove around the country to 17 colleges so that Cate could set her sights on a tangible goal. Elizabeth worked with Emma to improve her writing—she led by example, constantly editing her own blog posts and book chapter, and also taught Emma by reading her work and showing her tricks. She encouraged Jack to challenge himself a little every day—always pushing him to read more than his teachers required and signing him up for new sports teams.

BEYOND HER FAMILY. Elizabeth Edwards always made her children a priority in her life, but she also looked beyond her own family, helping to change lives wherever she was. Elizabeth formed communities everywhere life took her—from her childhood in the Navy to the Wade Edwards Learning Lab in Raleigh to the campaign trail to the world of people living with cancer. Elizabeth believed in the power of people to support each other within their communities to lift each other up and give each other opportunity. The people in those communities became family to her— and she served them as she did her own family, as a parent, a supporter, a mentor and a motivator.

EVERYONE DESERVES AN ELIZABETH. The Elizabeth Edwards Foundation follows the example that Elizabeth Edwards set, because everyone deserves an Elizabeth Edwards in their life, to ensure that they succeed. Our mission is to identify kids who show great potential but have limited support and resources, and give them the kind of encouragement, support and tools that they need to reach that potential. Our highest hope is that we can honor the legacy of Elizabeth Edwards’ passion for positive action and compassion for others through our Elizabeth Fellows Program.