Danny Arias has already overcome so much in his young life. The Huntington High School senior has worked through family tragedy and other obstacles and compiled an impressive set of achievements, including being one of the top members of the Class of 2019.
Mr. Arias’ academic record speaks for itself, but he’s also performed on stage with the high school drama club and is so well-liked by classmates that he was voted Homecoming Day king.
The teenager is headed to Colgate University, one of the top liberal arts colleges in the country. Mr. Arias is interested in studying psychology or business.
In recognition of his exceptional achievements and future potential, Mr. Arias was presented with the 2019 Kurt Schaefer Memorial Scholarship Award by Sean and Kim Schaeffer during this year’s senior academic awards night. The Schaeffer scholarship includes a $1,200 stipend.
“Each year, the Kurt Schaefer Memorial Scholarship is presented to a student who has shown academic and social growth as well as maturity and responsibility toward their classmates,” said Ms. Schaeffer at the senior awards ceremony. “Kurt was a friendly and kind-hearted kid. He was loved by many and missed by all. His spirit lives on through this scholarship.”
Honored as a Distinguished Senior earlier this spring after compiling an academic grade average of at least a 90 during every semester of high school, Mr. Arias is much more than just a great student. He’s a tender-hearted young man; a loyal and valued friend and a person that others can turn to when they need a compassionate ear to hear them out.
“This year’s Kurt Schaeffer Memorial Scholarship recipient has endured many challenges, but has managed to keep up his work, be involved in the drama club and most importantly, remained kind to others,” Ms. Schaeffer said. It is our honor to present this award to Danny Arias.”
Kurt Schaefer Felled in Hit-and-Run
Kurt Schaefer had recently turned 17 years old and was preparing to enter his junior year at Huntington High School when he was struck by a car in a hit-and-run accident on Saturday, August 18, 1990 at 12:30 a.m. He died four days later at Huntington Hospital.
The teenager was riding a moped when he was struck at the intersection of Spring Road and Main Street in Huntington near Heckscher Park, according to a report published in Newsday. A Huntington man, who Suffolk Police said was driving a red Honda on his way home from a party in Huntington Bay, was later arrested.
Detectives said the Honda went over the double line, passed a pair of cars and went through the intersection on the wrong side of the road and through a red light, according to Newsday. The car struck Mr. Schaefer as he was crossing on Spring Street and it then fled the scene.
Mr. Schaefer enjoyed playing tennis, fishing, water skiing and snow skiing. He was known as a very friendly person and was called “a wonderful kid” by Peter Schaefer, his father.
As Mr. Schaefer lay critically injured in Huntington Hospital following the accident, countless friends tried to visit his bedside. “The Rock” at Huntington High School was quickly painted and inscribed with the words: “We Love You Kurt. Get Well Kurt.”
Visiting was held at M.A. Connell Funeral Home on Friday and Saturday, August 24-25, 1990. Interment was at St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Huntington.
While Mr. Schaefer was taken from his family and friends at much too young of an age, the scholarship presented annually by his family has been helping Huntington graduates start college on a strong footing since the time it was established.