The David Lee Verbryke Memorial Scholarship Endowment has been established in the Franklin County Community Foundation in memory of David by his parents, James Verbryke and Karen Sue Rosselot-Verbryke. When income is available from the fund, it will provide scholarships for seniors graduating from high schools located in Franklin County, Indiana who plan to study in a field related to language arts including but not limited to Journalism, Writing, English or Communications. David himself was passionate about writing as seen in the following essay:
BY: DAVID LEE VERBRYKE
I resided in a rural community my entire life. My parents, James E., and Karen Sue Rosselot-Verbryke enclosed my older brother, Jeremy William, and me in a protective circle. But though they sheltered us from the cruelties of the world, my parents never withheld the truth. My childhood home was gracious and loving. It was a place of liberal social values, Goldwater era sensibilities and nurturance toward all God’s creatures and creation. Despite both being social workers in the urban trenches of human indignity, my parents remained optimistic about human nature and maintained a deep sense of faith. Their bright buoyancy provided me with a secure sense that any problems that afflicted me would be resolved in the manner intended. Such faith remains with me to this day.
Our dear good friends and neighbors, who often felt like family to us, were another robust influence in my life. These people were humble folks living straight forward, everyday lives. Many worked blue collar vocations. Love of God, family and country were themes they held sacred. Most of our neighborhood friends grew up in large families, proud to be high school graduates. Even without advanced education, these Appalachian Hoosier transplants garnered rural and universal survival skills along life’s way, teeming with indomitable spirit and strength of character. Country storytelling of “down home tales” summarized their social gathering specialty. I never tired of listening to these authentic yarns. their voices exposed me to a source of poetic expression, that of the unique homespun characterizations and influences of the region.
I have always been a voracious reader. My love for poetry and creative writing reinforced my interest in the spoken and written word. Attending Catholic school from elementary through senior high school, presented me with educational challenges. The classic Catholic values also offered my youthful spiritual restlessness some sanctuary. I pursued many interests, but devoted my genuine zeal to the study of politics and religious traditions, and the impact of these on culture and world affairs.
As one progresses through life, we often gauge ourselves by societal standards of success. During my high school years at Oldenburg Academy, I was honored to work as an extern for the Human Rights Commission for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. That position helped pay my high school tuition for several years. Later, in the summer of 2007, I was nominated to attend the Presidential Scholars program in Washington, D.C. In January of 2009, as a result of my participation in that program, I was invited to attend the inauguration of president Barak Obama. While pleased with my accomplishments, I humbly recognized that my idea of success did not necessarily align with more commercial depictions.
In defining success, perspectives on the topic are as assorted as the people polled. Consider the varying influences that dictate the meaning of success. Of these views, like a boomerang, one factor ricochets time and again: the ability to adapt to life situations as they occur. That is, developing transitional skills to survive and live well with whatever comes your way.
Having known and lived among the Hoosier inhabitants I was offered a fresh, unblemished perspective of how everyday self-taught, astute ingenuity and acumen can be rolled into persistent practice. Even though one might “dare” consider there is no possible technique to decipher a problem, “hands on” tends to rule in the country where I grew up. The whole truth is, I am always experiencing, comprehending and identifying with the venerable life sustaining approach of the Indiana area populace which imprinted itself on me. My admiration for my friends and neighbors equipped me to be a stronger human being, personally, socially and spiritually.
With humanity, success is not strictly a matter of survival. For you see, true success follows your heart. It is not just getting by, but resolving to do the best you can, performing better than you did before. To do this, a person must clear his or her mind of unreasonable doubt while simultaneously creating a positive attitude. In this way you can set goals in a meaningful manner and tackle life’s obstacles without the paralyzing fear of failure.
To embrace a challenge with enthusiasm, first one must not wallow or procrastinate. You must make a start to show yourself, and then the world, that you can reach your goals. All this entails wanting what you have, but not necessarily having all you want. Developing a deep contentment in and of ourselves is a strength. It means enjoying the small things in life with tranquil fervor. Success requires a willingness to compromise when you secretly want your own way. It emphasizes what skills you possess, not dwelling on the “missing piece”, and your willingness to share your gifts with others.
Formulating, accepting and adapting to these principles is what I have witnessed, learned and received in my life. I realize one of my life’s goals involves fulfilling my own spiritual enlightenment so that I may feel more at peace within myself.
The beauty of the earth shines forth, radiating in all directions, inviting humankind to follow suit. The Lord’s creation lets us know that, indeed, we are carefully, safely guarded by all the forces of the heavens. This seems a perfect place to take leave. Listen, then live it……….. For God is calling.