One year ago today, Columbia County native Ryan Clark died during a shooting at Virginia Tech.
Members of a youth organization hope to soon unveil an award honoring Clark and one of his passions -- community service.
Columbia County Community Connections will accept applications and nominations from Columbia and Richmond counties this year for the Ryan Clark Community Service Award.
"After that terrible event, he just stuck with me," said Julie Miller, Community Connections' executive director.
"The more I heard about him and the more I read about him, I thought this is the kind of young man that everyone would want their child to be. For more, it just never went away. I just kept thinking, 'What can we do to honor his memory?' "
The 2002 Lakeside High School graduate was awaiting his May 2007 graduation with a triple major in biology, English and psychology.
Miller said she has met with Clark's family, whom she said are very supportive of the award.
Miller said Clark's mother wanted the award and scholarship to be open to students in Columbia and Richmond counties, where Clark did much of his service work before heading to Blacksburg, Va., for school.
He regularly sorted items at Golden Harvest Food Bank, served food to the homeless at the Master's Table and tutored children at Communities in Schools of Augusta/Richmond County.
The award, which will be presented in May 2009, will include a scholarship, which Miller estimates will be about $1,000, depending on fundraising. It is open to Columbia or Richmond county students ages 14-19. The nomination form, application and essay are due before Jan. 31, 2009.
Miller said the selection committee, to be made up of area dignitaries and elected officials, will be looking for someone with a sincere commitment, motivation and interest in community service; high moral character; a history of service to their school, neighborhood or community; and demonstrated leadership qualities.
To make donations to help sponsor the scholarship, or for more information, an application or nomination form, contact Miller at (706) 556-0609 or email@example.com.
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