Rebecca “Becca” Jean Knight graduated from Malden High School in 2005. She was an athlete, team builder, humanitarian, musician, environmentalist, animal lover, volunteer, and supportive friend to many. Her sports included basketball, softball, (through the City of Malden), field hockey, track and discus. She was an avid champion for her teams and congratulated or consoled her teammates whenever the opportunity arose.
She was a drummer in the school bands from elementary school until junior year at Malden High, as well as with East Coast Junior Jazz, Drum and Bugle Corps. Volunteer services included feeding the homeless at various churches, Habitat for Humanity, Special Olympics, and mentoring young students.
While at Arcadia University in Glenside, Pennsylvania, Becca continued with field hockey freshman year, but basketball was the sport enjoyed all four years. She participated in three “Alternative Spring Breaks” going to Louisiana working with Habitat for Humanity. The spring semester of junior year was spent at Stirling University in Stirling, Scotland. Many new friends were made and were dazzled with her rugby abilities! She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business in 2009.
After graduation, instead of using the money she had been saving for many years to buy a car, she set off for four months to Scotland, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. Since she knew people in these countries, she was able to have a “home base”, and from there set off on adventures, stayed in several hostels, made new friends and experienced the thrill of skydiving!
Philadelphia was home after her world traveling. She held several jobs before employment at City Sports. Because of her strong work ethic, she was quickly promoted to assistant manager and opened a store in a suburb of Philadelphia, a first in the history of the company to have a branch outside a city.
Two dogs came into her life during her three years in Philly. A 15 year old, sickly stray she named ChowBear was left on her porch on a bitterly cold winter night. Becca’s devotion and care gave ChowBear the best six months of her life, when she sadly had to be put to sleep. After moving to another apartment, she and her two roommates adopted Chopper, and he came home to Malden for nine months. She worked for City Sports in Boston, until they moved to Fort Collins, Colorado in July 2013 and received many accolades from staff, customers and management.
August 2013, Becca was one of four, from over five hundred applicants, to land a position at REI, in Fort Collins. Again, she quickly moved up in the ranks and was admired and respected by her coworkers. A new home provided new friends and opportunities to hike, camp, and explore a big, beautiful part of the country.
Becca died on June 4, 2014, (just nine days prior to her 27th birthday), while whitewater rafting with three companions on the Cache la Poudre River in Colorado. Although all four were thrown into the water, a paddle hit her in the chin, knocked her unconscious, and she drowned. She was wearing a wetsuit, life jacket and helmet. She died doing what she loved to do.
It is our wish to keep Rebecca’s legacy alive by providing this scholarship to a student who would strive to live showing they could understand Rebecca’s love of life and all that life has to offer.
Live Like Becca