ROXBORO — Blake Taylor was just starting high school when he was killed in a car accident in 1995. This year, five members of the class he would have graduated with at Person High School will get $5,000 scholarships donated in his name.
His father says the scholarships are a fitting legacy to a young life which touched many people.
"It was like he almost came into the world being an angel," Tim Taylor says. "He loved life, he loved the outdoors, he loved people."
Blake was 14 years old four years ago when he and his mother Eve were killed; their car ran off the road into a river during a rain storm.
The loss was devastating. "Blake was my life, Eve was my life," Taylor says. "It was like somebody turned the light off and I had to start all over."
Part of starting over for Taylor involves handing out $25,000 in college scholarships to members of Blake's class; the money comes from Blake's memorial fund.
"I think it will mean so much more to the kids who knew him, it will make an impact on their lives, and it showed they lived pretty much the way Blake lived," Taylor says.
Carolyn Woodall, a guidance counselor at Person High School, agrees.
"I've had students comment to me this year that when they're in a tough situation they think 'What would Blake do?' This says something about the impact he continues to have on the lives of these kids," Woodall says.
His father has no doubt that Blake would be proud. "He always for some reason or another wanted to do something for other people. He got more joy out of that than he did anything, I think," Taylor says.
There will be one scholarship for a student to go toN.C. State, one awarded for good citizenship, one awarded for academics and two awarded based on need.
A five member committee will make the decisions and hand out the scholarships at the Person High School graduation.
The deadline for the applications is May 1.