ASHLAND A local woman will be pursuing her college degree thanks to a memorial scholarship awarded by a local non-profit organization.

Shyann Summer Morris, 24, was awarded Build Ashland’s $3,000 Rick Ritchason Memorial Scholarship to be used toward her education at the Ashland Community and Technical College.

“It was definitely a surprise and I’m so grateful,” Morris said.

Morris was presented with the award on Wednesday morning by members of Build Ashland and said that the scholarship will assist her greatly in pursuing her education.

The scholarship fund was established in memory of Ritchason to reward students for their community involvement, said BA board member Joshua Blanton.

“It was created to honor one of our best volunteers and one of the kindest people we know,” said Dave Daniel, founder of Build Ashland. “He was everything that Build Ashland stood for.”

Morris said that she intends to pursue a degree as a Licensed Practical Nurse.

“I just got accepted into the LPN Program, so it’ll go toward the financial cost of that,” Morris said.

Blanton said that Morris was chosen as this years recipient because of her submitted essays. Morris is the second recipient of the scholarship.

Daniel wrote that Morris has shown incredible focus and has worked through adversity, all while being a young mother and volunteering to give back to the community.

“Thank you Shyann for representing all the good things we can be as well as a shining light for Rick’s memory,” Daniel said. “We wish you nothing but the very best in your academic career and look forward to watching you prosper.”

Morris, who is a graduate of Jackson High School in Ohio, said that after she finishes her degree she intends to stay in the Ashland community and continually expand her education, eventually reaching the level of RN and BSN.

The Rick Ritchason Memorial Scholarship requires that applicants file for admission to ACTC, complete the free application for Federal Student Aid, be seeking a degree at ACTC and make satisfactory academic progress, and have no other tuition source such as outside scholarships.