(KMSP) - A Ramsey County family has launched a scholarship for Irondale High School students, following the mysterious death of recent graduate Jakob Ernst.
The 21-year-old from Mounds View was found dead in his Arizona State University dorm room April 27.
Police say there were no signs of suspicious circumstances or foul play, and the autopsy could not pinpoint a cause of death.
Robert Ernst said as they’ve looked for ways to honor his son’s memory, a scholarship seemed fitting.
“I thought, he loved high school so why not do a scholarship,” said the father of three. “Why not go to Irondale [High School] and give it to somebody who’s similar to him—comes from a background that doesn’t have a lot of money and somebody that can use it, somebody that’s going to continue their education.”
Ernst set up a Go-Fund-Me page and in a matter of days raised more than $7,000. He says starting next year, at least one Irondale High School student will be the recipient of the funds.
Jakob was studying international business and global marketing at ASU when he died. He was in the honors program and worked three jobs to help pay for school.
It was the young man’s dedication to school that prompted his friend’s to check on him, as they say it was out of character for him to skip class.
“They were concerned; they knocked on his door and rang the doorbell. He didn’t come to it so they went and got someone,” said Ernst. “It was his freshman roommate who opened the door and found him. He tried performing CPR not knowing he had already passed.”
Jakob’s family says he will be remembered as a hard worker with big dreams.