First-ever scholarship named for Skylar Herbert given to daughter of DPD officer

Walk into Breanna Caban's bedroom and it's pretty clear she has worked her entire life to attend the University of Michigan.

And a scholarship that she just received, will help to make that happen.

"To be selected to receive something like that, that's going to be in my heart, it will be in the back of my mind in whatever I do," she said.

Breanna was chosen to receive the first Skylar Herbert Memorial Scholarship named after the 5-year-old who was the first child in our area to die from COVID-19.

Skylar Herbert's parents are both first responders, Lavondria, a Detroit police officer, and Ebby a Detroit Firefighter, were heartbroken after losing their little girl.

Last November, FOX 2 introduced you to Bruce Hiler. a former U of M grad who now lives in Virginia. He was so moved by images of the little girl with a big personality he decided to start a scholarship in her name.

"Everything on her body language was saying, 'Here I am, I love life and I'm going to do something big in it,'" Hiler said.

The scholarship is to be awarded to the child of Detroit first responders, like Breanna. Her mom, Sandy Caban, is a nurse at Detroit Receiving Hospital. Her dad, Luis,  a Detroit police officer for 23 years.

Breanna remembers her parents working on the front lines, during the hardest time.

"That was really hard to watch, especially when you know you can't do anything," she said.

Out of tragedy comes strength and in this case, the financial support needed to follow in her parents' footsteps.

The 20-year-old is majoring in English and minoring in Law Justice and Social Change. After she graduates from U-M Ann Arbor, Breanna plans to go to law school.

"Not law enforcement on the street but still the same purpose, whether out on the street or in court," he said. "I think she's going to do great."

"That scholarship will absolutely stay on my mind," she said."That's got to be the most meaningful I have gotten. Others I've gotten from academic merits, so that is great, but this hits closer to home."

Breanna Caban will receive the first scholarship named for Skylar Herbert (inset).

Breanna Caban will receive the first scholarship named for Skylar Herbert (inset).

The Cabans share a bond with the Herberts only front line workers can understand, and a connection to a loss they can't imagine - but cherish the support they received in Skylar's memory.

"Grateful," said Luis. "It is a beautiful gesture. Even though he doesn't know us, know my daughter, (the word) wow would come to mind."

"To select somebody who played a part in that legacy, that's a really high honor," Breanna said.