The Todd C. Bryant Scholarship Fund was created in loving memory of Todd C. Bryant by his family. The scholarship provides support for a high school graduating senior who has struggled or is struggling with grief or mental health challenges and requires support to further their education, whatever school, institution, or ability level that person may have. It may be that a high schooler is challenged with mental wellness, has family or friends that have mental health issues, or has experienced a loss because of suicide. Todd’s family and friends recognize that it is a challenge to go on with the future in these situations.
Todd Christopher Bryant was an amazing young man whose life ended because of his mental health struggles. He was a joyful, successful graduate of Yorkville High School who loved to participate in community activities and school. He achieved the rank of Eagle Scout with the Boy Scouts of America. His community project for that rank was moving the old library into the new one that stands today as one of Yorkville’s most useful and beautiful buildings in Kendall County.
He was an outstanding athlete—participating in short and long-distance track and field running as well as Cross Country and Hurdles. He was a down-to-earth person who had great friends who keep in touch with the family even now. Todd was thrilled to be a member of the 4×800 relay team which finished first in the Class A State Competition in 1989. He finished his college career at Bradley University in Peoria where he earned his degree in Civil Engineering Summa Cum Laude in 1993.
During his college years, he served as captain of the track team, treasurer of the American Society of Civil Engineers, and president of the Chi Epsilon Fraternity (an honor society open to Civil Engineers.) He received the Watonga Award, the highest award bestowed to a student-athlete, and the C.M. Hewitt MVP Track Award in 1990 and 1991. At Bradley, he held the second-best indoor 800-meter as well as the second-best indoor 1,000-meter time and the third-fastest outdoor 800-meter mark.
Todd graduated from Bradley in 1993 and was immediately hired by Smith Engineering in McHenry County. Somewhere during his career at Bradley University, he began to experience bouts of depression and was sure he could handle these emotions by himself. His friends and family did not see the signs of mental health distress until he began his work experience.
Nevertheless, he was highly respected by his engineering firm and worked very well with his colleagues. When he did admit his depressive feelings, it was apparent that his high expectations of himself were debilitating. Internally he felt that he did not measure up to his own values—regardless of the fact that his friends, employer, and family all respected and valued him as a loving, caring, successful person. Finally, despite getting intense psychiatric help, Todd was unable to overcome his mental health struggles.
Todd’s family created this scholarship to carry out Todd’s legacy and support others struggling with mental health issues. Through this scholarship, it is the family’s hope that people with mental health issues will receive the services they need and that mental health issues in our community will be recognized and discussed.
REMEMBER—TALK SAVES LIVES.