I know the story of how this charity began and I have personally suffered from depression. It is heart breaking when anyone is lost to suicide and this charity promotes awareness and education for the prevention of suicide particularly for venerable young people.
Suicide remains the third leading cause of death for young people ages 15 to 24. The devestation of a suicide on the family, friends and community is heart breaking and long lasting. Jesse Lump, who at 17 took his own life, was my son's best friend and also part of our family. He was a wonderful young man and in his short life made the world a better place. The activities of this organization are critical! Education and suicide awareness lead to a better understanding of what the signs and causes of suicide are. The awarenenss component of suicide that is shared in local schools and civic organizations gives individuals, teachers, and the community the tools to make a positive difference in the lives of our youth. The Jesse Klump Memorial Scholarship Fund also makes continuing education possible for local high school seniors who want to make a differenc in this world!
In the last year the Jesse Klump Memorial Fund launched the Worcester County Youth Suicide Awareness and Prevention Program (in addition to granting a $12,000 scholarship in 2012). The Program's mission is to teach everyone the importance of recognizing suicide's warning signs and understanding how to keep a person at risk safe and secure, on the road to recovery. The Fund also hosts support group meetings for those who are grieving a loss to suicide. In just one year, many hundreds of lives have been touched, enriched and consoled by the Fund's work.
In 2011, the Jesse Klump Memorial Scholarship Fund will grant a $12,000 scholarship to a deserving, hard-working and compassionate young scholar. The Fund is one of the few locally-sponsored organizations to make a long-term committment to its awardees, providing support throughout an undergraduate's studies. Working as a volunteer has been the most rewarding thing I have ever done, and the Fund's success in just two short years is phenomenal.
The idea of starting this non-profit organization was to fund a scholarship to reward students who like my son were sensitive to the needs of others, always putting them before himself. The support from the community for this idea has been overwhelming. Our first year in May 2009, we rewarded $1000 to Celina Scott a graduate of Snow Hill High School and a classmate of Jesse's. In 2010 we rewarded Shanice Bacon with $2,500 which paid for a full year at Wor-Wic Community College.
Now in 2011, we plan to reward a graduating senior from Snow Hill High a $3,000/year scholarship for a total of $12,000! That is very exciting.
Also, we plan to seek funding for a Suicide Prevention Program in the Worcester County School System. We plan to pay a part-time person to organize an out-reach program that talks to students, teachers, staff, administrators, and parents in the community for signs to look for in youths susceptible to suicide. This person should be instrument in helping to prevent future suicide attempts in our youth. They can also work as a liaison with the Crisis Intervention Team in cases where a suicide appears to be imminent.
Jesse's Paddle, and the associated fund raising connected to the Memorial Scholarship fund, is the perfect way to remember this incredible young man. Snow Hill and Worcester County, MD, should be very proud of how this community rallies every year since Jesse's passing to make something positive out of a devastating tragedy.
I have attended every Jesse's Paddle event and each year it amazes me just how much it's grown. There's good music, great kayaking and canoeing on the beautiful Pocomoke River, and plenty of camaraderie amongst the attendees. Everybody is welcome to come. I feel that this is a testament to the great character of Jesse. His kindness, intelligence, leadership, and want to truly help people were one-in-a-billion. These traits are reflected well in the deserving students who receive this scholarship. As someone who is in college I understand just how important scholarships are, especially four-year scholarships such as this one. As a former student at Snow Hill High School I can also attest to the sad lack of four-year scholarships in the area. Most scholarships are for just freshman year or are intended for specific majors and if you do not want to go into these fields, you are out of luck. That's also what makes this scholarship so unique and fantastic; it rewards students of great character who want to use their education to help others and make the world a better place, not just someone who only wants to get their degree and move on in the world. I can proudly say that I have donated and bought raffle tickets to the event every year and I will continue to do so. I want to help as many students as I can to further their education so that they may make the world a better place.
I have attended Jesse's Paddle every year since it started in 2009. Every year it amazes me how many supporters come out from not only the local community, but also all over the nation. Many people were inspired by the young man for whom the scholarship is named and attend in hopes of giving back to the community like Jesse often did himself. The paddle is a lot of fun every year and the cause is wonderful, giving as much as $12,000 over four years to a deserving local high school senior every day. I have personally donated and bought raffle tickets every year and would love to see the JKMSF be successful for many years to come!
The small riverside community of just over 2,000 residents was rocked by the tragic death of high school student Jesse Klump several years ago. Since then his friends and family have banded together in a very professional way to turn this tragedy into something positive that will benefit others. Their approach to fundraising has been centered on the Pocomoke River by hosting paddling events in the summer months. They have kept the name of the organization before the residents with social/fundraising events throughout the year that have heightened its profile. And they have awarded generous scholarships to high school students each year. I can strongly endorse this organization.