The Webster Family and the National Independent Service Association created the Live It Like Austin Scholarship Fund to honor our SEI student, supporter, and friend Austin Dale Webster.
From the Webster Family:
We could certainly talk for days about Austin, the amazing son, brother, friend and person. However, we will simply give you a small glimpse into his special heart, and how he discovered his passion for making the world a better place through solar energy.
Though Austin did not have many faults in our eyes, he was always looking to better himself. Austin was a notorious “list” writer all his life. These lists addressed everything; things he needed to do for school, things he needed to do at his house, things he needed to do at work, things he needed to do on a Thursday, and things he needed to do next year. In his scraggly script, he wrote “pay rent to Jean”, “check ticket sale dates for Counterpoint”, “get dad to cut my hair”, and other routine tasks.
Then there were his big lists; “What Do I Believe?”, “What Do I Want?”, “What Have I Done Right?” and “What Can I Do Better?”. Austin wanted to be inspired and to inspire. Austin wanted to be wealthy in happiness. Austin wanted to have no enemies. Austin believed that the right thing to do isn’t always the easy thing. Austin valued honesty and straightforwardness. Austin believed it was important to remain optimistic in certain contexts, but to also be realistic. Austin felt he should be less judgmental. Austin felt he should connect with family and friends more, and show gratitude. Austin believed he could do anything he wanted, but not everything. Austin believed his primary goal was improving the world and this should be the primary goal for everyone. Austin believed that “All of this is a miracle.”
Austin fell in love with solar around the end of 2016. This love was nurtured by his “networking” at the City Tap, a bar where he worked in Pittsboro, NC. The Tap is a unique local bar, catering to aspiring musicians, local breweries, and people from all walks of life. It was at the Tap that Austin truly found peace in the man he had become. Austin possessed a heartfelt and genuine passion to help provide natural, clean, and affordable sources of power for families of all backgrounds. Through his contacts at the Tap and other extensive research, Austin found The NC Clean Energy Technology Center at NC State University. He approached us with his ideas and desire to start the Renewable Energy Technologies Diploma Series. In May of 2017, he eagerly registered for the first workshop in the series. Completion of this 40-hour workshop sent him on his way into the world of photovoltaic (PV) systems and becoming a certified PV installer. In the fall of 2017, Austin accepted a job with Sun Dollar Energy, a family owned solar energy company which offers residential solar panel installations. To say Austin was happy is an understatement. Working on rooftops, in the heat and the cold, Austin found his calling. In June of 2018, Austin completed a second workshop at the Technology Center. Austin was saving money for his journey to Solar Energy International (SEI) in Paonia, Colorado, with plans to enroll in their Solar Professional Programs. He was already taking SEI’s introductory on-line courses. Austin passed away on July 27, 2018 under circumstances beyond his control. Though he will not achieve further solar certifications, we know that he would be honored to assist other deserving individuals to reach this goal. This is our purpose and our objective. With the help of our special friends in the National Independent Service Association, the Live It Like Austin Scholarship was established.
Without a doubt, our sweet, gentle man improved our world and continues to make the world better for all of us. Hopefully and with every ounce of our existence, we can all follow his beautiful and inspiring example.
With love, hugs and remembering always to Live It Like Austin,
Teri, Richard, Audrie, Vini, Viviana, Andrew and Jessica