Centennial students remember Austin Cloyd

By Anthony Antoine | aantoine@wcia.com

Published 04/12 2014 07:54PM

Updated 04/14 2014 09:45AM

CHAMPAIGN -- A former Centennial High School student was killed in a campus shooting seven years ago. Saturday, students honored her through a day of service. Hundreds of students chose to serve the community on Austin’s Day. WCIA-3's Anthony Antoine finds out how they honored her.

"They register to come and be a part of this event, and they don't know what they're going to do. They don't know if they're going to be raking or cleaning up, or getting their hands dirty. Yet nobody comes in here and says, 'Oh, I can’t do that project,'" says Todd Salen, a teacher at Centennial High School.

It's in memory of former Centennial student, Austin Cloyd, who was killed in the Virginia Tech shooting.

Todd Salen says, "Austin loved to grab people by the hand and lead them into community service."

And that’s how the school chose to remember her, through community service. The program started with only 50 volunteers, but it's grown to more than 200.

One volunteer, Chris Piper, says, "A quote that Austin lived by is 'no one person can change the world, but everyone can do something, and if everyone does something, together then we can change the world,' so that's something I try to live by."

Students cleaned windows, walls, picked up weeds and the leaves all around Champaign. Krista Beyler was one of them.

"I love helping others. I know it makes a difference. It may not seem like it, raking leaves, but it feels good to do something small for someone that it might mean something big for them," says Beyler.

She went to church with Cloyd.

She says, "It's important to continue her legacy because she was such an amazing person and service was so important to her, so continuing that is something I don't have to think about. It's just something I should do."

For these students it's simple. Be the change you want to see.

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