Teen hurt in crash that killed Chagrin Falls boyfriend starts scholarship in his honor

Teen hurt in crash that killed Chagrin Falls boyfriend starts scholarship in his honor
Grant Wilson was known for his love of music, especially the guitar.

CHAGRIN FALLS, OH (WOIO) - Two days before Christmas in 2016, Grant Wilson and his girlfriend, Adriana Holst, were riding in a car near North Portage Path and Sunnyside Avenue, a residential area in Akron.

Around 7:30 p.m., a drunk driver was on that same road.

He struck the car in which Wilson and Holst were passengers. Wilson, a 17-year-old senior at Chagrin Falls High School, was killed. His 15-year-old girlfriend survived, but with serious injuries.

More than a year later, Adriana Holst is choosing to focus not on how Grant Wilson died, or on her own pain, but on his legacy, which lies in music.

Last year, she helped found the "Grant A Guitar" Scholarship, a nonprofit organization that gives guitars and music lessons to local students.

In the spring of 2017, the first winners were chosen based on essays they submitted with their applications.

"I wanted it to be about the principles and the power of words to convey a message and to connect with others, because that is a big part of why Grant loved music so much," Holst said.

She said she got the idea to honor Grant and his love of music while she was still recovering in the hospital.

"Nobody could explain why I survived what I survived, and for me, it was just a question of that had to be for a reason. It can't just be a coincidence," she said.

The nonprofit is gaining momentum. They've had two charity yoga classes to raise money for the cause, and they're also working with more local schools to increase the number of students who will be eligible to submit applications.

For Adriana Holst, it's all about honoring Grant Wilson.

"He was just the kindest, most outgoing, outspoken person that I had ever met," she said. "He would approach anyone, no matter who they were, no matter how different they seemed, and connect with them, and love them."

Holst said that Wilson got a job at McDonald's to help pay for his guitar and lessons, and she wants to help make music more accessible to everyone, as part of her tribute to him.

"I just wanted to make this an opportunity for anyone who wanted the chance," she said.

Grant A Guitar will be accepting applications through the month of April 2018. To find out if your middle or high school student is eligible, plus rules and how you can donate, click here.

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