Donors send more than $5,500 to Broughton High School in memory of former student
Posted January 7, 2020 4:04 p.m. EST
Updated January 7, 2020 4:07 p.m. EST
Raleigh, N.C. — Donors have sent more than $5,500 to Broughton High School in the past few months in memory of a former student who died in September.
Wynn Burrus, 21, of Raleigh, died at UNC Hospital on Sept. 17 after battling an infection, according to her family. In her obituary, family members asked mourners to donate in her memory to special needs students at Broughton High School and to the Morehead-Cain Scholarship program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she was majoring in business administration.
"Wynn loved the special needs students at Broughton High School, and she would be honored by donations [to them]," her family wrote.
Nearly 50 donors have sent $5,560 to the school, with donations ranging from $20 to $750, according to donation records posted on the Wake County Board of Education's meeting agendas in November and January.
"Our family is humbled and grateful to everyone who has made a donation to Broughton High School in memory of Wynn for the special needs students," her parents, Beth and Erik Burrus, told WRAL News by email. "She loved working with these students and would be so happy to know that these donations will enrich this program."
Broughton Principal Elena Ashburn said the money will be used for instructional supplies for students with special needs, but a specific allocation has not been determined yet.
"She was a wonderful young woman who contributed so much to the Broughton community," Ashburn told WRAL News by email.
Burrus graduated from Broughton, where she worked to organize a basketball clinic for students with special needs in 2015. She knew many of the students were North Carolina State University fans, so she arranged for members of the Wolfpack basketball team to come and play basketball with them.
Burrus also organized a prom for Broughton's special needs students and later expanded the prom to include special needs students from all over Wake County. She wanted the students to know they were an important part of the school and that they mattered, friends said. The prom has been renamed "Wynnterfest" in honor of Burrus, according to her family.
While at UNC, she started a pen pal program called “Hope for Hope,” in which UNC students and students at Hope Charter Leadership Elementary would exchange letters. Her LinkedIn page described the initiative, which she said was “to inspire and encourage the elementary school students to work hard and attend college.”
Burrus was set to graduate from UNC in May and was planning to move to New York to work at JP Morgan as an investment-banking analyst alongside her sister.