CANTON, Ga. (CBS46) -- Cathy Semeria never saw herself as an evangelist.
But three years after losing her 19-year-old daughter, Christina, in a tragic car crash – Semeria’s embracing a new mission to share her faith and love of Christianity to help those she said – need it most.
“I don't want to waste my pain. I want to pour into other peoples with the experience I've had, to give hope to others,” she said.
Inspired by her daughter’s own ministry, Semeria’s recently raised more than $11,000 in scholarships to send young people to the Passion Conference, an annual Christian convention – and a popular Christian camp, Young Life Camp in Georgia.
“It's extraordinary to watch the people that are coming to know god through her life while she's in heaven. And she'll continue to do that,” Semeria said.
The scholarships – including a $25,000 scholarship to University of Georgia – are named after Christina’s blog “Spark in the Dark.”
Once the scholarship reaches the $25,000 goal it will be handed out annually.
Christina received a Zell Miller scholarship to attend UGA and was active in the Alpha Chi Omega sorority there.
She would have graduated last year.
“She was just so gifted in so many ways,” said Semeria. “But she had this nearness to God and her purpose in life that I've never seen before.”
Nicknamed 'Tini,’ the gifted singer and songwriter would minister, pray or share a song with anyone she came across.
At Milton High School, she started a student lead ministry that grew to 200 students, and she regularly blogged insightful messages to uplift her readers and friends.
Her song "Be Still" has been downloaded hundreds of times.
“She literally would go out at Milton High School and say 'Hey, I'm not sure what's going on in your life right now, but can I pray for you.'” Semeria said.
In 2016, Tini was one of four UGA students killed when the car they were riding in collided with an oncoming car. Only the driver survived.
Semeria said she's found her purpose speaking at churches and sharing insight and songs from her daughter's blog.
“This has been a really hard journey,” said Semeria. “I'll crawl somedays. And I'll run some days, but my passion is the next generation and I want the world to know that they're seen and loved. And that they matter.”
If you are interested in donating or volunteering to Tini’s Spark in the Dark organizations, please visit the following: