La Plata se­nior re­ceives schol­ar­ship in honor of fallen ser­vice­man

Maryland Independent - - News - By JESSI STICKEL Spe­cial to the In­de­pen­dent

A La Plata High School se­nior was hon­ored with a schol­ar­ship memo­ri­al­iz­ing a Mary­land fallen ser­vice­man at an awards cer­e­mony on May 31.

Ri­ley Wein­berg, 18, said she did not know much about Nathan McDavitt’s story when she first ap­plied for the schol­ar­ship, but once she learned more about him through his mother and loved ones, she was very ex­cited and ap­pre­cia­tive of the schol­ar­ship that hon­ors Nathan’s mem­ory.

Nathaniel H. McDavitt served in the United States Air Force for six years. On April 15, 2016, he died from in­juries he re­ceived af­ter a build­ing col­lapsed dur­ing a se­vere wind­storm while he was work­ing in the Mid­dle East. McDavitt was only 22 years old.

“Nathan al­ways had a de­sire to go into the Air Force; he worked on air­craft en­gines and he loved it,” said his mother, Jeanette Mid­dle­ton-Su­dano.

“He al­ways had a smile on his face; he was one of those peo­ple ev­ery­one liked,” said Nathan’s un­cle, Chris Mid­dle­ton.

Mid­dle­ton de­scribed Nathan as hav­ing a pos­i­tive out­look on life and a love for his fam­ily, sports and be­ing out­doors.

“When [I talked to peo­ple at his fu­neral] each had a ‘best friend’ story about Nathan, and that’s just the way he made you feel,” Mid­dle­ton said.

Not long af­ter he passed, Nathan’s close fam­ily de­cided to cre­ate the com­mem­o­ra­tive A1C Nathaniel H. McDavitt Me­mo­rial Schol­ar­ship Fund.

“The hope and the goal is to use that de­gree to go out and ben­e­fit so­ci­ety, to pay it for­ward by help­ing their com­mu­ni­ties,” Mid­dle­ton-Su­dano said.

“We’re hop­ing [Nathan’s] good ex­am­ple will in­spire some of the young kids to fol­low in his foot­steps with what­ever they want to do with their life, as far as col­lege or trade school, as long as they are on their way to show­ing their character drive and service in their own way,” Mid­dle­ton said.

“Ri­ley has done a lot to help the veter­ans, to help the home­less, and to help with dif­fer­ent or­ga­ni­za­tions,” Mid­dle­ton-Su­dano said.

Wein­berg said she plans to use the schol­ar­ship to study at the Word of Life Bi­ble In­sti­tute in Florida, study­ing the­ol­ogy and then at­tend Lib­erty Univer­sity to study psy­chol­ogy.

“I want to do ther­apy,” she said.

This is the first pair of schol­ar­ships of­fered and pre­sented to se­niors from La Plata High and Sev­erna Park High, which McDavitt at­tended.

The two schol­ar­ships went to stu­dents from places in which McDavitt spent time and made mem­o­ries. Mid­dle­ton said that other than Sev­erna Park, where Nathan grew up, he and his nephew spent a lot of time in South­ern Mary­land on Mid­dle­ton’s Cedar Hill Farm, where they en­joyed fish­ing and hunt­ing.

“I think Nathan would have re­ally liked that,” Mid­dle­ton said. mu­sic

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