Jessica Wiseman said she barely knew Sarah Fleming.
“I knew of her,” Wiseman said. “I participated in 4-H with her, but I was so much younger than her.
“But, she was one of those people that I looked up to in the 4-H program. She was always great with the younger kids.”
On Wednesday, Wiseman, a Moffat County High School senior, was recognized along with other area scholarship recipients at a cookout at Loudy-Simpson Park in Craig.
Wiseman was chosen as the first recipient of the Sarah Fleming Memorial Scholarship.
Sarah, 22, was killed in a car crash Aug. 14, 2010. She was a 2006 graduate of Moffat County High School.
The scholarship is funded by Yampa Valley Bank and managed by the Craig Kiwanis Club.
Sarah’s father, Dave Fleming, said he’s pleased with the club’s choice of Wiseman.
“I was happy with the selection,” he said. “She fits the type of person that we were looking for.”
The criteria for scholarship recipients centers around Sarah’s interests, Dave said. While at MCHS, Sarah was involved in cheerleading, rodeo, FFA and 4-H.
“And preference was given to someone who is going into elementary education or early childhood development,” he said. “Sarah was a preschool teacher.
“It’s a way to honor her memory with a focus of helping kids with similar backgrounds as her. She really loved education and loved working with little kids, so it’s a way of helping kids who maybe wouldn’t get help otherwise.”
Wiseman will attend the University of Wyoming in Laramie this fall. She plans to major in elementary education and minor in English.
Wiseman said she has been a member of Moffat County 4-H for 13 years, and a member of FFA at the high school for four years. This year, Wiseman has also been involved in elementary education at Sunset Elementary School.
“I help teach a fourth-grade class every day through an independent study here at the school,” she said.
Wiseman also works part-time at Craig Veterinary Hospital.
“I help out with the doctor, I file, I answer phones,” she said. “I do whatever needs to be done.”
Wiseman said the joy of winning the scholarship is tempered by a sense of responsibility.
“It was a great honor to get it,” she said. “She was a very special person, so I definitely want to live up to the expectation.”
Dave said there are two additional memorial scholarships in the works. One is through the National Little Britches Association, and the other is through the MCHS rodeo program.
“The one we’re working on for the National Little Britches Association will be a 10-year, $1,000 per year scholarship,” he said. “And, the high school one would be a five-year, $500 per year scholarship.”
The $2,000 scholarship that Wiseman received is the first in a 10-year commitment.
“In total, over the next 10 years, there will be $32,500 in scholarships,” Dave said.
Sarah would be proud, her father said.
“I think she’d be pleased with what we’re trying to do,” he said. “She really had a desire to help kids and see other people further their education.
“I think she’d be pleased.”
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