The scholarship will be awarded on an annual basis to a student who has overcome an extreme traumatic event and will be based on academic achievement, courage and leadership. The scholarship amount will vary each year, but the minimum amount will be $500.
"The Tim Kanavel Courage Scholarship Award recognizes Tim for the courage and leadership he has displayed over the years," said Joe Galat, President and Founder of American Youth Football.
Kanavel is a past chairman of the Desert Pacific Region of the AYF covering Arizona, California, Nevada and New Mexico. He currently serves on the AYF advisory committee. Kanavel was inducted into AYF Coaches Hall of Fame in 2006.
Upon receiving news of the scholarship, Kanavel said "That is downright cool and am I ever honored. At least all these scars I now have can help somebody."
Kanavel has overcome numerous medical obstacles throughout his life. As a 22-month-old toddler, he nearly died after drinking a cleaning fluid. He was severely injured in a motorcycle accident at age 16 and in an automobile accident at age 28 resulting in multiple operations over several years.
At age 51, Kanavel had to go on dialysis. A year later, Kanavel underwent a quintuple heart bypass surgery. When he was 53, he had a kidney and pancreas transplant. The transplanted kidney failed when he was 59, forcing Kanavel to go back on dialysis. Two years later his right kidney had to be removed due to a precancerous cyst.
Kanavel has served as Pinal County's Economic Development Manager since 2009. Prior to that, he served as the Rural Economic Development Manager at the Arizona Department of Commerce.
American Youth Football is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation that provides support services, scholarships, grants, community programs and tournaments to member organizations who service over one million members in the United States and several countries worldwide.