This is part three of an eight part series that profiles all students who are recipients of the 2020 McGowan Courage Award, presented by the Mansfield Rotary Club. One story will be released each day for the next eight days.
Senior year is supposed to be the last stepping stone for a young adult’s life; filled with joy, excitement and determination to finish that last year of high school on a strong note.
Lucas Yost, recent Crestview High School graduate, couldn’t share that same excitement with his peers after tragically losing his father to a heart attack on June 9, 2019.
However, while going through that loss, Yost did not let his hard work for the past four years go down the drain, nor did he want to disappoint his late father.
His dedication and determination throughout that final year makes him a recipient of the 2020 McGowan Courage Award.
“I have always been level-headed and I was strong because I had to be. I did not see another option,” Yost said.
Luke Rogers, social studies teacher at Crestview High School, nominated Yost for the prestigious award due to Yost’s courage, tenacity and fortitude.
“Lucas decided to honor his father's wish not because it was easy, but because it was hard,” Rogers wrote in his recommendation letter. “Lucas' academic achievement reflects the best of his energies and his skills.”
Yost has demonstrated courage by honoring his father's wish for him to be the best student and human being. He excelled in most advanced classes and clubs Crestview High School had to offer, maintained a 3.5 GPA and received all A’s and B’s throughout his high school career. He also earned a 23 on the ACT.
Along with courage, Yost has never allowed difficult circumstances to dishearten him. He threw himself into his studies, leading discussions in Political Thought and experiments in Forensics all day, according to Rogers.
“I’ve been fine in my classes, better than before and very strong,” Yost said.
Samantha Yost, Lucas Yost’s sister, cried when she learned her brother would be a recipient of the award. After taking on the role as his legal guardian, she’s been able to watch him maintain a positive attitude despite what he’s gone through.
“He’s been taking care of himself,” she said. “He’s a very capable young man, but I’m here to help if he needs me.”
Yost said he wants to keep doing what’s expected of him, not for others but for himself. He wants to have a hand in supporting his family in whatever way he can.
Lucas' goal prior to the loss of his father was to gain admission to college and pursue a career in either political science or electrical engineering. Through demonstrating fortitude by "staying the course" to achieve his goals, Yost succeeded and will attend Kent State University in the fall.
“My father always told me that nothing in your life will work unless you do, so that is one of the memories that was always in the back of my mind. If I want things to happen, then I must work for them,” Yost said.
The 2020 McGowan Courage Awards are sponsored by: OhioHealth (premier sponsor), Mechanics Bank (gold sponsor), OSU Mansfield (silver sponsor), Richland Bank, North Central State College, The Mansfield Art Center and The Renaissance Theatre.