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Knoxville mom remembers son with scholarships

Grief transformed into good when a Knoxville woman remembered her late son by giving back to high school graduates.
Published: Jan. 20, 2021 at 6:25 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Grief transformed into good when a Knoxville woman remembered her late son by giving back to high school graduates.

“He was just a really great kid,” said Tina Richey as she reflected on her son, Evan’s, life.

Evan is gone, but she had memories to share.

“He passed away the day that he received his high school diploma.”

The high school senior was diagnosed with bone cancer.

“He never gave up.”

Something Tina won’t do either. She established the Evan Richey Memorial Scholarship in 2020.

“Cancer affects more than just the person that has it, it affects everyone around them,” explained Richey.

Last year two Knox County high school seniors were awarded scholarships to help fund their college freshman year.

When the pandemic hit in 2020 she began sewing masks. At first, she gave them away, then a friend suggested a way to help even more students.

“She was like how about if you sell them and we’ll designate the money for the scholarship. And I was like that’s a great idea!”

Richey’s made 1,800 now.

“This year I’ve put like way more effort into reaching people than I did last year.”

She’s inspired others in memory of the one she lost.

“Just know that one person can make a difference in someone’s life and you may not even realize you’ve made a difference in someone’s life by the things you do,” said Richey.

As a part of the scholarship application, students write about how cancer has impacted their lives. It’s open to all Knox County seniors. Every year one of the recipients will go to Evan’s alma mater, Hardin Valley Academy.

If you’re interested in applying click here.

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