College of Fine Arts and Design

UCO Graduate Honored By Mother Through Endowed Scholarship For Arts Education

March 31, 2011

Version:1.0 StartHTML:0000000149 EndHTML:0000003184 StartFragment:0000000199 EndFragment:0000003150 StartSelection:0000000199 EndSelection:0000003150 Maryscott Young always saw that her children were encouraged to creatively express themselves, including her daughter, Sarah Kathleen Young, a 1996 University of Central Oklahoma oral communication and theater graduate.

An accomplished dancer, singer and actress, Sarah, also known as "Sky" for her initials, was stretching her creativity again late last year, moving to the Hendersonville/Asheville, N.C. area to open her own Pilates and Yoga studio. Tragically, the 40-year-old's life ended on a rain-slick highway in a car accident in November.

Her mother has honored Sarah and her love of the arts and teaching by establishing an endowed scholarship through the Oklahoma Center for Arts Education, a division of Central's College of Fine Arts and Design.

Young, a long-time teacher of and participant in the arts in Oklahoma, named the scholarship the SKY Arts Education Outreach Fund, benefitting at-risk K-12 Oklahoma students that have minimal exposure to the arts due to limited school programs or economic hardships.

Young said she was inspired to give through OCAE after reading an article highlighting OCAE's efforts to bring opera to young students.

"I want all youth to have the same opportunities Sky had to explore every avenue of self-expression available to her, regardless of their economic background, and OCAE seemed to offer the most comprehensive programs for all ages and in all areas of the arts," said Young.

"I strongly support OCAE's efforts to bring arts opportunities to students in communities that do not have the ability to offer these experiences on their own. This is what Sky would have loved to do herself. She loved teaching and performing."

OCAE's program manager, Ines Burnham, says the SKY endowment will extend the organization's reach.

"OCAE hosts events year-round for all ages on a very limited budget which requires us to charge fees for some events. The SKY Arts Education Outreach endowment will help reduce and, at times, even eliminate these fees which will allow us to reach more students, fostering an appreciation of the arts for a lifetime," said Burnham.

At least $6000 has been raised for the endowment, but Young hopes to raise close to $10,000 at a public memorial service for Sarah, scheduled for 7 p.m., April 8, at the Wickline United Methodist Church in Midwest City. Her family requests that in lieu of flowers a donation be made to the SKY Arts Education Outreach Fund.

To make a donation and find out more about the many arts programs and camps OCAE offers year-round, please contact Burnham at (405) 974-3784 or iburnham@uco.edu or visit www.ocae.net.