First Brian Harty Scholarship To Be Awarded by Grab the Torch

Grab the Torch announces a new scholarship in memory of Brian Harty (top right corner).
Grab the Torch announces a new scholarship in memory of Brian Harty (top right corner).

June 19, 2013

Announcing a new scholarship in honor of Brian Harty, an inspirational young man who passed away in 2010.

In honor and memory of Brian Harty, a young man with an inspirational passion for leadership and volunteer work, Grab the Torch has established a new scholarship worth $2,000, which provides one female student ages 14-18 with the funding to attend the Grab the Torch camp at the Ethel Walker School in Simsbury, CT from August 4-9, 2013.

Grab the Torch (GTT) is an organization dedicated to the in-depth education of leadership, ethics, authenticity and philanthropy. The program at the Ethel Walker School is an all-girls, 5-day overnight camp experience developed to provide a full introduction to the world of non-profits, foundations, cause-related marketing and greater good professionalism. Through conversation with a range of speakers and panelists – from community leaders to Fortune 500 CEOs – outings, site visits and extra curricular activities, attendees learn how to zero in on the causes about which they care the most, and how to make a difference in those fields. They are shown the empowerment that can be both gained and granted though giving back, taking action and leading in a responsible and ethical way.

Brian Harty was a musician and a computer technician at the Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT), with a kind and caring nature and a dedication to volunteerism and community action. The son of retired Garda (police) sergeant Noel Harty and Marie Harty (née Sheridan), he was taken from the world far too early at 33, following an aneurysm brought about by injuries sustained during a fall at his home in Co. Waterford, Ireland.

Brian’s strong spirit of generosity and adventure led him on a two-year leave of absence from his position at WIT, during which time he traveled to America, Australia, New Zealand and Asia, where he taught English to students in Tropang Sdock, Cambodia. Videos from these two years – of Brian skydiving in Australia; leading his Cambodian students in a song – testify to the great impact his travels had on both himself and on those he encountered.

“We all miss him terribly but we are comforted by the knowledge that during his short time on earth he brought joy to many people, especially the students in Cambodia, whom he helped with English conversation by teaching them to sing ‘Let it Be,’” said Brian’s aunt, Irish America’s co-founding editor Patricia Harty.

“The videos he left behind, which his father found on Brian’s computer after he passed away, speak volumes about his nature. I would say that Brian had two mottoes in life: ‘Face the Fear,’ which is the title of the video of him sky-diving in Australia, and ‘Let it Be,’ the title of the Paul McCartney song, the words of which bring us much comfort. We all miss Brian very much and we are delighted that his memory is kept alive through the Grab the Torch foundation and the scholarship.”

Click here to apply for one of the Grab the Torch summer leadership institutes. To apply for the Brian Harty Scholarship for the GTT camp at the Ethel Walker School in Simsbury, CT from August 4-9, applicants must use the code IAM after their names and reference the Brian Harty Scholarship in their essays.

Brian teaching his Cambodian students “Let it Be:”

A tribute they filmed for Brian after learning of his death:

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