Each Friday morning Tom and Maria announce our Be KOOL Stay in School nominee. Thank you to Fulton Homes we will be awarding three $4000 college scholarships at end of the school year.
Congratulations to Matthew Van Doren, this week’s winner.
I would like to nominate my son Matthew Van Doren for the Be KOOL, Stay in School Scholarship. Matthew attends the 6th grade at Imagine Rosefield in Surprise. He is a bright, sensitive and caring young man who has had a really difficult time the past couple of years. In May of 2008 we lost my mother, his grandmother to kidney failure. It was a great blow to all of us, but particularly to Matt. He was definitely Grandma’s little boy. My parents had been very predominant fixtures in my son’s lives. They watched both my children from a young age so I could return to work without the expense of childcare.
When we relocated to Arizona they moved with us. They bought a home a block away from us so they could see and spoil their grandchildren daily. His grandmother’s illness snuck up on us and the last year of her life was a very difficult time for all of us. After her passing we moved my father into our small home. Matthew and his brother gave up their separate rooms so that their Grandpa could be comfortable. They would help him every chance they had. About six months after his grandfather moved in we came to realize he suffered from Alzheimer’s/dementia. It was a very trying time. At times Grandpa would not remember where he was and who we were, he would go on walks and we wouldn’t know where he had gone so we would have to go find him. Eventually we had to move him into a nursing home. In May of 2009, one year after losing his grandmother his grandfather passed away.
His Grandfather was a World War II Veteran and at his funeral the Honor Guard presented Matthew with a small US flag after observing how devastated he was. He keeps that small flag near his bed so he feels close to his Grandpa. After moving Grandpa into the nursing home I took Matthew to parent and child counseling to deal with the loss of his Grandmother, and one week after that workshop ended his Grandfather passed away. The timing never gave him the opportunity to heal before dealing with another loss. He has still not come to terms with these devastating losses. So many things can trigger his grief, TV shows, books, seeing someone that looks like his grandparents even smells and sounds will start him sobbing uncontrollably.
Before these devastating events Matthew was an excellent student. He always received high marks and never misbehaved. Since his Grandparents deaths he has failed classes and has been exceedingly unmotivated. My husband and I along with his teachers have tried everything to motivate him and slowly we seem to be making progress.
The end of last year we decided to un-enroll him from the school he has attended since Kindergarten and enroll him in a local charter school. Since arriving at Imagine Rosefield he has made great improvements. He is participating in class and in school clubs and activities. He received his Arrow of Light from Cub Scouts and crossed over into Boy Scouts in February of 2010. He also plays sports like flag football in the city league. Through these efforts he seems to be coming back to us and I feel this Scholarship would really help his motivation and self esteem.
Thank you in advance for considering Matthew for this Scholarship.
Beth Van Doren