KATY, Texas (KTRK) -- Both present and former students continue to mourn the lost of a teacher and coach who died in April. Most remember him for the roles he played at Taylor High School in Katy during his career.
Rick Filson passed away from cancer at the age of 62. Mallory Cardner and her sister were at his bedside with his family to say goodbye.
Now, Mallory is trying to raise money to fund a scholarship for students at Taylor who may have never met him but will benefit from his legacy.
She first met Filson when she made the girl's junior varsity soccer team during her freshman year.
He coached the team.
"I struggled in high school, like a lot of my peers, and Coach Filson was always open, always there to give advice, and I knew because of that, I wanted to go into some kind of helping field."
Mallory wasn't the only one, she would later learn.
"He had a heart for all the students. He never judged us, but he encouraged us," she said.
Coach Filson also taught history and a psychology specialty class. Mallory recently graduated from UT with a psychology degree, a path influenced by her coach.
Although she was never in one of his classes, she said she would go to his classroom each day.
"I think having a safe place on campus where I could go when I was struggling is what won me over," she said. "He would always tell me to keep my head up."
To make sure that his influence benefits students in the future, she has set up a GoFundMe campaign titled 'Team Filson Scholarship Fund.'
The initial goal is $20,000. Since his death, just over half of that has been raised.
"With that, we can give a scholarship each year for the next 10 or 20 years, depending on how much is raised. I'm working with his wife on the criteria for it, but we'd like it to go to students who want a career that involves helping people, just as he did," Mallory said. "I know he'd love the idea of helping more students, even now."
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