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Woodcreek grad earns scholarship for relief work, public speaking

Murray will major in industrial engineering at UC Berkeley
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
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Riley Murray may have been sick for a week after a trip to Cambodia - he forgot to take his malaria pills - but this inconvenience was worth the overall experience.

Murray, 18, spent two weeks in October in the southeast Asian country as part of a relief trip organized by Agape International Missions, which fights childhood sex-trafficking.

He taught people how to use computers, helped refurbish a building that will become a textile factory for young women who have escaped the sex trade and distributed supplies to brick factories.

"I was talking to my mom and she said, 'If you're going to change the world, you better get to know it,'" Murray said during a presentation at the Roseville Host Lions Club meeting on July 18.

This trip helped him earn a $1,500 scholarship from the local Lions Club. Roseville Host Lions Club President Ed Smith said his group also selected Murray as the recipient because of his public speaking abilities.

The Woodcreek High School graduate served as salutatorian speaker at his commencement ceremony and participated on the school's speech and debate team. He also won the local Lions Club's student speaker contest.

"You have a scientist who's also a great communicator and that's a real plus," Smith said.

Murray plans to attend the University of California at Berkeley this fall and major in industrial engineering, which deals with system efficiency.

"That is exciting to me because I get to make impacts on organizations and then move on to the next one and then the next one," he said.

Sena Christian can be reached at senac@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow her on Twitter at SenaC_RsvPT.