LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - The Palludan Scholarship is the newest of its kind at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and it's named after a young man who planned to be one of the school's newest students this semester.
Ryan Palludan died in his sleep last month from an undiagnosed heart and blood vessel condition. It happened the day before he was set to begin his freshman year at UALR. His parents, Phil and Deborah Palludan, met with UALR administrators shortly after their son's death.
"Deb and I discussed it and decided that we would try and make something happen to help, not a lot of people, but a few people at a time," said Ryan's father, Phil. "Some young people have done well in school but they just couldn't continue because of a lack of $500 or $700 that was necessary for books."
Ryan's scholarship will go towards the cost of textbooks for students interested in biology or nursing. Ryan was planning to study those subjects and follow in the footsteps of his mother Deborah, a nurse at Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock. "He had a huge heart, and he did not go along with the flow," she said, adding advice for future scholarship recipients, "Don't do something just because everybody else is doing it. Follow your heart and be true to yourself. And always smile."
To donate to the fund, visit UALR's website at http://ualr.edu/development/give/ . A website for the Palludan Scholarship has not been created yet.