ADAMS TWP — Four students will benefit from a scholarship given in honor of a Cranberry Township man killed in an accident late last year.
The Alek Teimouri Scholarship was started in memory of Teimouri, 22, who died in an accident late last year. He was riding his bicycle home from work on Dec. 26 when he was struck by an alleged drunken driver on Rochester Road near Haine School Road.
Teimouri was declared brain dead at the scene, but was kept alive until multiple donors could be found for his organs. His family said Teimouri lived a life of giving back to the community.
That continued in the wake of his death, with proceeds gathered through a GoFundMe campaign used to partially fund the scholarship. Additional funds were raised Sunday during a spaghetti dinner at the Mars VFW.
Danielle Bowser, a senior at Ambridge High School, received the largest award, receiving a total of $20,000 spread out over four years of college.
In her application essay, Danielle described an upbringing in which her mother left her family as she battled a drug addiction, and losing her father at age 10. She was raised by her grandparents until her grandfather died from pancreatic cancer in 2013. She is now being raised by her grandmother on a single income, and works to earn additional money.
Through it all, Danielle has tried to give back whenever possible and improve the lives of others facing adversity. She intends to study criminology at Penn State University, and wants to one day work for the FBI battling the narcotics that took their toll on her family at an early age. She said the scholarship will have a major impact.
“It's going to help me continue my plans to help other people and help prevent things like (Teimouri's death) from happening,” she said.
Other recipients include Adam Garvin of Plum High School, Aaron Yeager of Seneca Valley High School and Kayla Miller, a Seneca Valley graduate pursuing a nursing degree at Case Western Reserve University.
The four had to go through an application process, providing a personal essay as well as letters from teachers, parents, guidance counselors and others. Christina Teimouri, Alek's mother, said the family also reached out to references and tried to get to know the applicants. Many of them assisted in Sunday's dinner.
“We don't just write checks,” Christina Teimouri said. “We want to be a part of their lives.”
Mandy Yeager, Aaron Yeager's mother, said her son wants to purse a military career after attending Keystone College. She said he wants to continue Alek's legacy of, “being so caring and loving of his community.” Alek had applied to the Air Force shortly before his death.
“He just wants to help people (as Alek did),” she said of her son.