Three lucky students were awarded the Ryan Clark scholarship and Community Service award.
Clark lost his life in the Virginia Tech school shooting, and his mother awards these scholarships in his memory.
This is the 11th year Letitie Clark has honored her son’s legacy.
In today’s climate, with school shootings becoming a more common issue, a former recipient of the award says, creating a positive from a negative is a great way to steer the conversation and make a change.
A scholarship winner 2013, Rickey Jones, says, “when the Virginia Tech shooting happened, it just kind of shook the world.”
The scholarship is a $1,000 scholarship, a $2,000 scholarship and a $500 scholarship.
Three students are chosen by giving back. Clark says these students have put in the work and served the community.
“They are wonderful students. They are giving back to their community, so by honoring Ryan and doing that, we are blessed,” says Clark.
Jones says this scholarship helped him afford college.
“I was able to I guess just apply this directly to my funds, as far as like starting college, as far as room and board, tuition, books and different things like that.”
Now a college graduate, Jones says a scholarship such as this one brings positive change to a negative situation.
“We have been in the position where we have had 33 school shootings in this academic school year, and that’s really something that just kind of shows that we have a lot of work to do, but I feel that it also is something where we as a people need to come together more and really support scholarship in general,” says Jones.
Ryan was Mrs. Clark’s world. With these trophies she hopes to show others that their future is bright.
“So, that eagle symbolizes going higher in your life, soaring to bigger heights, going higher in our education, and just giving back in your community,” says Clark.
Rising above a tragedy is the message Mrs. Clark is showing these students.
The winners are Caroline Dorn, Tyler Sims, and Lyonna Smith.