UNC Charlotte heroes granted honorary award

UNC Charlotte heroes granted honorary award

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Riley Howell and Reed Parlier, both hailed heroes in the deadly UNC Charlotte shooting, have been granted the 2019 Nish Jamgotch Jr. Humanitarian Award.

Riley Howell, 21, and Parlier, 19, were in the classroom when 22-year-old Trystan Terrell opened fire on April 30, 2019. Howell and Parlier were both killed. Four other students were injured.

The Nish Jamgotch Jr. Humanitarian Award is presented each year to a person or group that demonstrates exceptional service to the Charlotte community. The award is named for Nish Jamgotch Jr., the retired UNC Charlotte professor who established the program. The award is facilitated by Foundation For The Carolinas.

The Jamgotch Award Committee noted that Howell and Parlier were unique recipients because of “the senseless violence that ended their lives, the extent of their creative and intellectual contributions to the community will never be known.”

Both families have used the tragedy to provide inspiration and awareness on issues ranging from families impacted by gun violence to college education for deserving students, the award organization says.

“The lives of the Mr. Parlier and Mr. Howell exemplify in the most deserving way the humanitarian contributions envisioned by Dr. Jamgotch when the award was created,” FFTC Executive Vice President and member of the award committee Brian Collier said.

The award includes a cash honorarium. Howell’s family chose to direct their award to the Riley Howell Foundation at the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina. Parlier’s family directed their award to Chipping In Fore - The Ellis Reed Parlier Scholarship Fund.

Below are previous winners of the award:

  • Thereasea Elder, a public health pioneer who was among the first to integrate health care in the Charlotte region.
  • Ric Elias, CEO of Red Ventures and founder of Golden Door Scholars, a nonprofit that creates educational and career opportunities for high-performing undocumented students.
  • Jeffrey Balek, a blind man using specially made braille books to volunteer at Y Readers, the YMCA of Greater Charlotte’s literacy program for students in grades K-3 who are reading below grade level.
  • Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department Major Mike Campagna and Mecklenburg County public defender Toussaint Romain, for their work during the 2016 Keith Lamont Scott protests.

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