As they looked for a way to honor the memories of their parents and beloved family friend, sisters Caroline and Kirsten Green couldn’t help but be inspired by the countless stories of former students and community members that were touched by the generosity and dedication of Tina and Larry Green and Dwight Willson.
“Both our dad and Uncle Dwight were beloved teachers at Jamestown High School,” Caroline said. “We heard from many former students how they had impacted their lives and development in substantial ways.”
For 34 years, Larry Green worked as a math and computer teacher. It was during his time at Jamestown High School he met and befriended Dwight, a U.S. History teacher, who became an honorary member of the Green family.
“Uncle Dwight occupied a fifth chair at our table once a week when we were growing up,” Kirsten recalled. “We always considered him to be a part of the family.”
And although Tina (Carlson) Green began her career teaching math in the Panama and Southwestern School Districts, it wasn’t until she returned to school to study accounting and opened her own financial services firm that she found a way to combine her love of math and community. In addition to providing services to countless nonprofits, Tina also supported both the Gebbie Foundation and Chautauqua Region Community Foundation.
“Our mother’s philosophy of charity was not the common, ‘give until it hurts,’ but rather ‘give until it feels good’, which she found more resonant,” Caroline recalled. “She was an inspiration to many, both in the way she lived her life and in the way she faced her premature death.”
Following a yearlong battle with cancer, Tina passed away in 1996. In the years that followed, her daughters pursued higher education always keeping in mind that one day, they would find a way to pass on the lessons instilled in them while they were growing up.
A Lasting Legacy
After Dwight passed away in August 2020, and Larry in June 2021, Caroline and Kirsten worked with the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation to establish a permanent fund that would honor the memories of Tina, Larry and Dwight. Together, they created the Carlson, Green, Willson Scholarship for graduating Jamestown High School seniors.
On June 2, during Jamestown High School’s awards night presentation, the Community Foundation presented the first Carlson, Green, Willson Scholarship to Andrew Edwards.
According to the scholarship selection committee at the high school, Edwards is an incredibly hardworking student who has consistently earned a spot on the high school’s honor roll, ranking in the top 5% of his class, while challenging himself by taking AT, AP and JCC College Connections courses.
“Andrew has always seen the value of education and has many qualities that are sure to help him be successful in his future endeavors, including an outstanding personality,” said Shellee Irwin, Jamestown High School guidance counselor.
In addition to his academic achievements, Edwards was very involved in his Justice for All class activities, an English elective class aimed at building community, advocating for equity, and creating a safe, supportive, and informative space for students.
In 2021, Edwards was recognized by Chautauqua Bright Spots as an “Electric Youth” for his work and dedication to this class and its mission.
After developing a strong interest in math and science, Edwards will continue his education this fall at SUNY Fredonia and study environmental engineering.
“Our parents and Uncle Dwight valued education and lived their lives believing in service to community,” Kirsten said. “Caroline and I are thrilled that this scholarship will continue to be awarded to students like Andrew who will go above and beyond to have a positive impact in their community, just like they did.”