Clark Family Establishes Scholarship in Memory of First Responder
Dec. 19, 2016 - Longtime first responder Chris Clark’s lifelong legacy of giving back will continue living on, as nearly 50 family members and close friends gathered at Richmond Community College on Dec. 7 to celebrate the creation of the Chris Clark Memorial Scholarship.
“Having a heart and passion for helping people, a rare gift, is where Chris was so blessed,” said his brother, Scott, who worked with his cousin, Pam Peele Brogdon, and Dr. Hal Shuler, Associate Vice President of Development at RichmondCC, to establish the scholarship.
In memory of Chris, a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical services technician with Hamlet Fire and Rescue, the scholarship will benefit students enrolled in the Allied Health, Nursing, and Pre-Nursing or Medical Assisting curriculum.
“The thought of establishing a scholarship seemed to be a perfect fit,” Scott said. “Seeing someone in this community — a community that Chris so cherished — benefit as they continue to pursue their dreams would be a perfect legacy. It is our hope that each semester, each year, a deserving student who may be challenged in some way will truly benefit from the generosity of this gift and use it to pursue their dreams, and hopefully, help others along the way.”
Preferential treatment will be given to applicants who are employed by, or have an immediate family member employed by, Richmond County first response agencies. All recipients must maintain a 2.5 grade-point average.
“For those of you who did not know, Chris was dyslexic, which impaired his ability to read; so, he had much more to overcome than most of us,” Scott said. “If it had not been for his teacher, Charles Cowan, in high school, we doubt very much Chris would have graduated. So we are very thankful that Charlotte Cowan, Charles’ wife, continued to support Chris’ efforts after Charles passed away. The Cowans were like a second family to Chris.”
A unique requirement of the scholarship is that applicants must be enrolled in developmental courses. Chris had to overcome learning disabilities, which created challenges for him during his formative years and made continuous testing difficult during his professional career.
Dr. Dale McInnis, president of Richmond Community College, said the scholarship is the first aimed at students in need of additional help in their college classes, and he commended the family for doing so.
“I never had an opportunity to meet Chris, but after meeting with the family, I believe this scholarship truly captures the heart and determination of who he was,” said McInnis. “There is no price tag that can be placed on the hope that will be given in Chris’ name to the future recipients of this scholarship.”
McInnis said the group in attendance for the Chris Clark Memorial Scholarship celebration was the largest to ever gather in support of such an announcement.
“It really speaks volumes to the person Chris was,” McInnis said.
Community members interested in contributing to the Chris Clark Memorial Scholarship may do so by sending a check to the RichmondCC Foundation, P.O. Box 1189, Hamlet, NC 28345, or by contacting Dr. Hal Shuler at (910) 410-1807 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applying for any of Richmond Community College’s more than 100 scholarships may easily be done online. Apply now!