La Plata senior receives scholarship in honor of fallen serviceman
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