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Pauley Perrette Is ‘Still Grieving’ Her NCIS Exit

Pauley Perrette is leaving NCIS after the conclusion of the current 15th season, and we’re all heartbroken about the loss of Abby Sciuto. Perrette has been with the series since it began in 2003, and she recently told People that she’s “still grieving.”

More: Did You See Pauley Perrette’s Final Goodbye to the NCIS cast?

“I, like, usually cry in my car every single day when I drive to work,” she said — which we totally have in common. “It makes me sad to imagine a world without Abby in it,” she continued. “It really makes me sad… Abby made science cool and attainable for young women. And this television character did more than encourage it. It made it cool. It made it exciting. It made it fun.”

On April 6, Perrette shared a bunch of photos on Twitter saying goodbye to her castmates, and we cried as much as she seemed to in the snap with costar Wilmer Valderrama. Her final episode as Abby airs May 8, and we’re definitely, 100 percent not ready to say goodbye. This one’s going to be a toughie.

But there’s good news too. Perrette has set up a forensic science scholarship, which is currently listed on the website for CUNY’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice. According to the website, the four-year scholarship seeks to “support entering undergraduate students traditionally underrepresented in the Forensic Sciences.” The scholarship awards up to $7,500 annually to forensic science majors and is renewable as long as the recipient demonstrates continued financial need and maintains good standing in the forensic science department.

More: Give NCIS‘ Abby Sciuto Her Own Spinoff Show

It’s awesome that Perrette is sharing Abby’s legacy in this way. The scholarship is “in honor of Abby, and in honor of young women that want to pursue science and math and forensics,” she told People.

Badass lady scientists used to be few and far between, but Abby is among great company now, especially thanks to films like A Wrinkle in Time and Black Panther. Any tools that make it easier for young girls to pursue careers in STEM are worth celebrating, even if they’re created from the loss of a really amazing, inspiring character.

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