GROTON -- Graduating seniors Meghan McNierney (Parker School) and Tim Grove (Groton-Dunstable Regional High School), recipients of the Groton Community School Taylor Benjamin Young Memorial Scholarship, proved through their extracurricular activities, their community-service actions, and their writings that they exemplify the spirit of peace and "bucket filling" that Taylor Young expressed every day.
Taylor, a student at the Groton Community School, was only four years old when he passed away in a tragic accident in July of 2011, but the Groton Community School is keeping his memory alive.
"Taylor was a sweet, sincere and happy little boy who brightened each and every day here at Groton Community School and Camp Kaleidoscope. We miss his warm smile, his kind and caring nature, and his curiosity and enthusiasm for school," said Groton Community School Director Linda Kosinski.
Taylor's family, including his mother Gale, his dad Matt, and his sister Olivia, who graduated as a kindergartener last June, have been an active part of the Groton Community School community. Wanting to support Taylor's family, Kosinski, with Assistant Director Lisa Stafford, explored ways to honor Taylor, eventually creating the "Taylor Benjamin Young Memorial Scholarship."
The scholarship requires that the high-school student is an alumni of the Groton Community School, is going on to higher education and proves him or herself able to exemplify the spirit of peace and bucket
During a recent remembrance celebration for Taylor, the Groton Community School welcomed his family and friends to celebrate his life and to remember and cherish the lessons he left behind.
"His smile was great and his laughter infectious," Kosinski shared with guests. She then announced the establishment of the GCS scholarship in Taylor's name, and the fact that the first two recipients had been granted with this honor-Meghan McNierney and Tim Grove
At the Groton-Dunstable Awards Night ceremony, Kosinski said, "All of the applicants had strength of character that made us very proud of their beginnings at GCS. This year being our first year we decided to give 2 scholarships." She continued, "Though Taylor's time with us was very short, the inspiration and joy that he brought into our lives will last forever. His beautiful smile, and his sweet and caring spirit, brightened the lives of everyone at Groton Community School."
"All of our GCS students will always be in our hearts. And we are especially happy to honor Taylor's memory and acknowledge a very special past GCS student who shares our commitment to these principles. It was remarkable how someone as young as Taylor understood and embodied principles that we hold dear at Groton Community School so well," Kosinski said in closing.
Signs of Taylor's Remembrance Celebration accented the June 11th Scholarship Award ceremony held at the Groton Community School for Meghan McNierney and Tim Grove. A striking piece of artwork, a dragonfly representing Taylor's light shining on, created by local artist Joni Parker-Roach, hung in the lobby. Poems and artwork fashioned by Groton Community School staff and students were displayed.
The heart-felt words expressed by Taylor's family at the time of his loss were memorialized in a song composed by Wendy Frank, titled, "Kokopelli Boy (for Taylor)..."He is in the wind. He is in the sunshine. We can hear him dancing in the leaves and in the trees .We can feel him around us in the garden waking in the morning dew, To greet us with his hugs and laughter. He's our Kokopelli boy, sprinkling the earth with music and joy Dancing in our hearts forever."
Taylor's mom, Gale Young, stood with GCS Director Linda Kosinski as the scholarships were presented to Meghan McNierney, with her mom, Kate, and to Shelly Grove, who stood in for Tim who was attending his college orientation. Young spoke to attendees, saying, "It brings me and my family great joy to know that our son Taylor Benjamin's memories can continue on here and bring happiness to others with this scholarship. My family and I cannot thank GCS and the community of people who have surrounded us with such love and compassion enough. We look to the future. May you (speaking to the two scholarship recipients) have great happiness and success in all that you do and shoot high for the sky in all that you do."
Tim Grove's mother, Shelley Grove, thanked the Groton Community School for bestowing Tim with this honor, saying, "He just can't stop coming back! He loved it here and he still returns to play drums for the current students."
Scholarship recipient Meghan McNierney, filled with the emotions of the evening, thanked the Groton Community School for the honor bestowed on her, stating, "GCS gave me a great start in life, influencing me and setting me on the path of choosing Occupational Therapy as my major in college." McNierney will be attending the University of New England.