When Stephanie Regagnon of Kirkwood was in her 20s, a jury found her mother guilty of a federal crime and sent her to prison for four years. The family maintains that she is innocent.
The first time Regagnon visited her mom, she noticed small children stocking up on vending-machine snacks for their parents to enjoy when they came out to see them.
“It seemed like they were trying so hard to create a nice environment,” Regagnon said. “It was pretty soul crushing.”
Regagnon imagined the children waiting to see their parents would likely have a hard time getting to college. In 2010, she started a scholarship fund called Ava’s Grace to help young people whose fate brushed so closely against her own.