Memorial scholarship created in Amanda Strous' name
A memorial scholarship has been established in the name of slain Dallastown Area High School graduate Amanda Strous.
Strous was found dying in her burning apartment in Charlotte, North Carolina, on June 18, weeks before her wedding. She was pronounced dead upon arriving at the hospital.
The 27-year-old played soccer and field hockey all four of her high school years. Upon graduation, she received an athletic scholarship to play field hockey at Shippensburg University, where she earned a bachelor's degree in psychology. She also earned a master's degree in clinical mental health, according to a news release sent on behalf of the Dallastown Foundation Scholarship Committee.
Jeff Rehmeyer, counsel for the committee, explained that the scholarship committee approves memorial scholarships and also approves the students who receive them. For this scholarship, the Dallastown senior will need to show academic excellence and an interest in field hockey, psychology or art, like Strous.
District Superintendent Ron Dyer said the scholarship is a great way for current students to remember the legacy Strous left at the school.
"The whole idea of many of these memorial scholarships is about legacy: you live, love and leave a legacy," Dyer said. "That's not a phrase I coined, but it's certainly perfect for her."
The committee, which is associated with the Dallastown Area Educational Foundation, will rank students anonymously based on their academics, their interest in field hockey, psychology and art, their volunteerism and other qualities to choose the recipient this year. Rehmeyer said the scholarship should be $1,500, but because they are still taking donations, it might be more.
The goal is to ensure that the scholarship is endowed so that even in 50 or 100 years, students from Dallastown will still be receiving aid and remembering Strous. The Dallastown grad's parents have been heavily involved with the establishment of the scholarship. Rehmeyer said Strous' mother, Cindy, will be writing the speech that will be read prior to the awarding of the scholarship.
Strous' parents have opened the scholarship to additional donations from those whose children were affected by their daughter's "passion for sports, her helping hand and her listening ear," according to the news release.
Strous was beloved by the community, shown by the hundreds who attended her funeral in June.
Autopsy reports found that Strous was strangled in her home. She also suffered extensive burns and blunt-force injuries and had her mouth covered in duct tape, according to the autopsy report from the Mecklenburg County Medical Examiner's Office.
Police charged a man who lived in the same apartment complex with murder and first-degree arson. Matthew Thomas Benner, 28, was arrested in Nevada. Authorities have said that he confessed to killing Strous.