Mother creates scholarship to honor teen daughter who died from the flu

Jenifer Wood passed away April 6
Posted at 5:43 AM, May 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-19 10:15:51-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A local mother is creating a scholarship to honor her daughter, who died from the flu in April.

On Saturday, Tanya Wood is hosting a fundraiser for the scholarship at BNS Brewery in Santee.

Wood's daughter, Jenifer, was a freshman at Granite Hills High School. She was active in dance, cheer, gymnastics, 4-H and FFA.

But more than her activities, her mother and friends remember her smile.

"She lit up every room she walked into," Wood said, in her first on-camera interview since Jenifer's death. "I want people to remember her that way."

Saturday's fundraiser is from 12 p.m.-4 p.m., and it will include a silent auction, raffles and a taco truck, with proceeds going towards a scholarship.

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"She was on the path to college," Wood said of Jenifer. "She wanted to go to the University of Hawaii, the University of Oregon or the University of Colorado. She had a plan, and she was working towards it."

Wood wants to raise $10,000 to fund four scholarships, helping others make their dreams come true.

For anyone who can't attend in person, the family has set up a page on for donations.

Wood said having a scholarship means a little piece of her daughter can still pursue her dreams.

"It's going to be amazing," she said. "In some way or another, she'll be attending college with them."

In the meantime, Wood has her family and friends to help cope with the loss.

"The last video I have of her is in the hospital. She's sitting there, getting a breathing treatment, holding her thumbs up and smiling. And that's what everyone remembers," Wood said.