Memorial Scholarship Fulfills Katelyn’s Aspiration By Joyce Wolford Katelyn Mary Lynch was a hard-working 18-year-old when her life was tragically cut short on June 14, 2012. She had recently completed the Certified Nursing Assistant program at Randolph Community College. Having passed the CNA exam, she was set to enter RCC’s Associate Degree Nursing program later that summer. Before the semester began, she lost her life in a one-car accident. In addition to being a student, Katelyn worked at both Main Street Steakhouse in Randleman and Bath and Body Works in Asheboro. Through her Main Street Steakhouse job, she met RCC President Dr. Robert S. Shackleford. He was influential in her decision to pursue a nursing degree. Katelyn’s family says after many conversations with Dr. Shackleford, she came home from work one night with the announcement she was going to RCC and become a nurse. Although Katelyn wasn’t able to fulfill her dream, she was posthumously awarded an honorary degree from RCC in 2014. The manager at Bath and Body Works informed Katelyn’s parents that on the day she passed away, she filled four bags with merchandise and put them in the storage room to purchase the next day when she got paid. Her manager asked what she planned to do with all the products, and she replied she was giving them to others. It was her spirit of giving and helping others that led the Lynches to start the Katelyn Mary Lynch Memorial Nursing Scholarship with the RCC Foundation. Her mom, Malinda Lynch, said, “She was an extremely generous person with a heart of gold. Katelyn was always helping people, so we knew that starting a scholarship in her memory would be the way to carry on her legacy of helping others.” For three years, the Lynches held a motorcycle ride, that also included an auction and band performances, to raise money for the scholarship fund. The first event was held in September 2012, only three months after Katelyn’s death. Katelyn’s parents, friends and other family also have made contributions over the years, and the scholarship was fully endowed in December 2015. This fall, the first recipient of the newly endowed Katelyn Mary Lynch Memorial Nursing Scholarship was selected. It was awarded to Casey Woodruff, a second-year Associate Degree Nursing student at RCC. An award will be made from the scholarship fund each year in perpetuity as a memorial to Katelyn.
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The Spirit of Giving