Notre Dame student awarded 14th annual Evan Sears Memorial Schol - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Notre Dame student awarded 14th annual Evan Sears Memorial Scholarship

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Savannah Wunderlich became the 16th recipient of the Evan Sears Memorial Scholarship Savannah Wunderlich became the 16th recipient of the Evan Sears Memorial Scholarship
SOUTH BEND - The 14th annual Evan Sears Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Notre Dame student Savannah Wunderlich. She will be a junior next fall and is a Environmental Engineering major.

Wunderlich became the 16th recipient of the scholarship. Students who applied had to write an essay about the importance of workplace safety. The applicant also had to have had an internship with the city of South Bend. "I was really honored that they chose my essay," Wunderlich said.

The scholarship is in honor of Evan Sears who interned with the city in the Bureau of Traffic and Lighting. He was killed in a traffic accident in 1999 while working on a street project.

Evan's mother, Marci Sears, was joined by South Bend Deputy Mayor Mark Neal for the presentation of the award and check to Wunderlich. "Today is the most positive thing that could come out of the loss of my son," Sears said. "It makes me feel some comfort to know that when people think of him now, they associate that with being safe."

"I just think it was amazing that she was able to really use her loss in this way, to use Evan's memory to spread this message and that really struck me as a really neat thing," Wunderlich said.

Wunderlich is an intern with the city's Department of Engineering. She says she helps with week long projects and always has safety on her mind. It's because of her understanding of workplace safety that she applied for the scholarship. “After hearing Mrs. Sears' story and Evan's story it really struck me how important safety is and how your health and safety not only affects you, but your family and those around you in such a big way," Wunderlich said.

Evan Sears was 18-years-old when he died. He would have turned 33 on Saturday. "The fact that we were able to take that and build a legacy for him that is so encouraging to workplace safety is the best possible outcome," Marci Sears said.

In the 14 years the scholarship has been awarded, there have been 16 recipients. There were two students who received the Evan Sears Memorial Scholarship in both 2006 and 2013.

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