Following the untimely death of Buchanan County native Neil Justus, a scholarship has been established to remember Justus for service provided to his community.
The C. Neil Justus Memorial Scholarship was initiated by employees of Buchanan County Head Start where Neil’s mother, Brenda Coleman, is employed. The scholarship will be awarded to a first or second year student from Buchanan County who is enrolled in the Criminal Justice program at Southwest Virginia Community College.
Carol Breeding, Head Start Early Education Manager, says “the scholarship has been established to carry on Neil’s legacy to his country, his community and his God. Throughout his life and career, Neil’s was a life of service and sacrifice to others. This scholarship is in recognition of his dedication and in remembrance of his example. The scholarship will assist residents of Buchanan County who intend to pursue a degree in the Criminal Justice field so that legacy of service embodied by Neil can be carried on by future Criminal Justice Professionals.” Buchanan County Head Start employees will provide annual support to fund the scholarship.
Head Start Director Brenda Coleman says “the scholarship is a way for us to honor Neil’s service and dedication to our community, what he stood for and his ultimate sacrifice for those he loved and served. He believed in what he did and that he could make a difference in the lives of the people of Buchanan County.”
The recipient of the C. Neil Justus Memorial Scholarship for the 2012-2013 academic year at SWCC is Seth McGlothlin from Rowe, VA. Seth graduated from Council High School May 2012 and has taken Dual Enrollment at SWCC while in high school. He is currently a Park Ranger at Breaks Interstate Park. He hopes to begin a career with the Virginia State Police after completing his studies in law enforcement.
Neil made the extreme sacrifice of his life in service as a Deputy in the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Department. On Sunday, March 13, 2011, Neil, who had just attended the morning service with his family at Bethany Bible Church, was mortally wounded.
He will be remembered for his service and love of community through the C. Neil Justus Memorial Scholarship at SWCC.
Donations are being accepted in memory of Neil by contacting Mary W. Lawson, Executive Director, SWCC Educational Foundation, Inc., P. O. Box SVCC, Richlands, VA 24641 or call 276.964.7348 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .