Tricia Creasey Foundation pays it forward
William Creasey walked up to the podium at East Davidson High School's graduation prepared to give a speech as he's done so many times following his wife's death last February.
When it came time to announce the inaugural recipient of the Tricia Creasey Foundation scholarship, William Creasey struggled to find the words.
"That was the hardest thing I've done, I think," Creasey said. "I've gotten up in front of a couple thousand people at Relay for Life, and that's emotional, too, but just seeing all the kids I know Tricia taught and I used to hear her speak about, just brought back all those emotions. It was tough. It was one of the toughest days' I've had in awhile."
With his composure restored, Creasey recognized Brittany McDowell as the 2013 beneficiary of the $1,000 Tricia Creasey Foundation Scholarship. McDowell plans to attend Campbell University in the fall, and is leaning toward a healthcare major. Although she never had Tricia Creasey as a teacher, McDowell recognizes the impact she had on the community.
"I just felt really blessed and honored to be awarded such a prestigious scholarship," said McDowell. "I know she was a very kind and giving person. Just to be awarded this in her memory is a blessing and an honor.
"Anybody who knows her knows she is a special person. She was very encouraging and uplifting to her students. She did a lot of great things and she will not be forgotten."
A dozen students applied for the scholarship by writing an essay on someone inspirational in their life. William Creasey said McDowell's stellar resume and well-written essay on her mother made her a great choice to receive this year's scholarship.
"I have no doubts she's going to do great in college," William Creasey said of McDowell. "One of the parts of the foundation is to help spotlight kids who want to go to college and give them a little extra incentive to help them along the way. Tricia always believed every kid should have the opportunity to go to college. The foundation, we just want to do our part and pay it forward."
Creasey also presented special gift bags to the other 11 students who submitted essays. The scholarship was made possible through donations to the foundation.
For more information on the Tricia Creasey Foundation, visit triciacreaseyfoundation.org.
Staff Writer Eliot Duke can be reached at 888-3578, or firstname.lastname@example.org.