Mother Remembers Son by Helping Others
Ryan Odelle Mance Foundation Provides Scholarships to Students
Today, more than a dozen scholarships have been awarded since 2008 to qualified students in Mance’s memory and Daniels said many more will result from the efforts of the foundation, which raises money by hosting various events throughout Prince George’s County.
“I give Pat Daniels a lot of credit because she has a vision for young males, and she’s doing something about it,” said Barbara Jolly, a close friend of Daniels.
“She’s not one for lip service,” Jolly said.
On July 20, Daniels hosted the 5th annual Evening of Jazz and Awards Dinner Benefit for the foundation in Upper Marlboro, Md.
Stephen Trimnell, a St. Mary’s College of Maryland student in St. Mary’s City, Md., and foundation award recipient, said the scholarship proved to be a wonderful gift.
“The Mance Scholarship has been nothing less than a blessing. The open support I have received from the foundation board, distinguishes this scholarship from any other,” said Trimnell, 19, who has yet to declare a major.
Mance’s older brother, Roderick, said he’s helping to carry on his late brother’s legacy by assisting with the foundation. Education is the key to success, said Mance, 40. “My education has meant the world to me, and it has opened a lot of doors. I really want to share that with others,” he said. A training and employee development specialist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Virtual University in Southwest, Mance’s thirst for education and knowledge resulted from his younger brother’s untimely death.
He earned a Master of Education degree from George Washington University and a bachelor’s of science degree in management studies from the University of Maryland at College Park.
Daniels said, while she misses her son’s smile and youthful exuberance, there’s joy in being able to help other students.
She wants the foundation to become a leading nonprofit organization in providing adequate financial assistance to help young African Americans succeed in reaching their academic goals.
Ryan Mance was born on Aug. 22, 1978.
As a toddler, Daniels said, he rarely cried or demanded attention.
“Even when his asthma bothered him, he would say he felt fine,” she said.
While attending Laurel High School, Mance was a straight “A” student and a stand-out saxophonist in the school’s marching band. Upon graduation, he entered the University of Maryland at Baltimore, where he studied system analysis.
Mance’s high school teachers remembered a brilliant and selfless person.
“Having spent a delightful school year with Rod, I was thrilled years later when Ryan came into the same classroom. When Ryan came down the hall, visiting with everyone, smiled his wondrous smile at me, then entered our room, life began,” said Linda Kinsley, one of Mance’s former English teachers.
“What a joy. He was so open to everyone and empathetic to his classmates, whether their needs were personal or academic. He made the positive difference everyday for everyone he encountered. Ryan was a delightful, multi-talented, scholarly gentleman,” she said.
The Ryan Odelle Mance Foundation depends upon the support of individuals to carry out its mission of assisting and increasing access to higher education for deserving, talented and qualified black male students, Daniels said.
“You have the power to help change a life,” she said. “Ryan’s murder is teaching me as much about life as it did about indescribable pain. So, more than anything, I want Ryan’s spirit to make a difference in someone else’s life.”
For further information regarding the Ryan Odelle Mance Memorial Scholarship Foundation, Inc., visit www.ryanomancefoundation.org.