UNION COUNTY, N.C. — UNC Charlotte and Union County Public Schools announced a scholarship in memory of Ellis “Reed” Parlier, one of the victims in the UNC Charlotte shooting.
Brian and Julie Parlier, Reed’s parents, shared the news Thursday morning at the Central Academy of Technology and Arts (CATA) in Monroe.
Reed was a 2017 graduate of the school. Julie said her son truly found a home during his time there.
"He wasn't into sports, and so the typical high school wasn't for him," Julie said. "So the day that we got the lottery that his name was called, I was so excited for him."
The fund for the scholarship will be administered by the College of Computing and Informatics at UNC Charlotte to a freshman student. All majors may apply, but preference will be given to a student planning to pursue a B.S. in Computer Science, with a concentration in Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, or Gaming.
Reed was studying IT software development at UNC Charlotte in hopes of becoming a game developer.
"That was where Reed's goal was, and he had hoped to graduate from UNCC with that degree," Julie said.
The scholarship award amount comes to $18,000, which is funded by an anonymous donor and friends of the Parlier family.
Additionally, first preference for the award will be given to students from CATA.
"I think it's so cool that they picked someone that has the same passion as him cause I feel like that really will keep his legacy living on at UNCC," said Brynna Miller, a senior at CATA.
Outside CATA, a bench now bears Reed’s name, reminding others of his loving spirit.
"He was very approachable and just a very kind guy with his words and the way he approached others," said Caleb Beckstein, a CATA graduate who knew Reed as a friend and teaching assistant.
Reed’s parents are moving forward with their efforts to remember their son. The family has already set up an additional scholarship for a senior at UNC Charlotte.
The latest scholarship announced Thursday now ensures students at the place where Reed found his place and found happiness have opportunities to pursue his passions.
"That is very important to us because the one thing that we want to happen is that Reed is never forgotten," Julie said.