Matt's graduation pic 2007

Matt's graduation pic 2007

Friday, June 30, 2017

Moving up!

Congratulations to all of our applicants!!! By now, you've all had your moments in your caps and gowns to receive your high school diplomas!

Graduation, as with any other big moment in life, is bittersweet when you've experienced the losses you have, and I wish I could give each and every one of you a big hug (along with a scholarship). While you may feel alone in a sea of moms and dads with their kids, be assured you're not alone. As witnessed it all of the applications we received this year, you're in good company. While that fact is heartbreaking, sometimes it helps to know there are so many more like you. If you can find a way to connect with those others, grab that opportunity - it's surprisingly comforting to be with those who understand on the same level that you do. (Hint: The Run for Row 5K is a good start...)

You should all be very proud of yourselves and your accomplishments thus far; and theres so much more to look forward to!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

And the winners are............

We are very excited to announce that our Board of Directors has selected two scholarship winners for the 2017 Matthew R. Row Scholarship!!! They each will receive $2,500 toward their college tuition! Letters are going out this week to all of our applicants!! 

It was truly a difficult decision. The amount of applications we received this year was three times from last year (15 last year, 45 this year). It's heartbreaking to think that all of these kids have lost a parent, and some have lost both. Some of our Western New York high school seniors may not have been aware of the scholarship, and some may have chosen not to apply - we know there are many more kids out there...

In reading through all of the essays, looking at transcripts, the beautiful letters of recommendation and the impressive accomplishments these individuals have made despite some of the worst hardships that a young person should never be faced with, we have so much respect and admiration for each one of our applicants. Some are helping to raise their younger siblings, some are working to help contribute financially to the household to help their single parent, all while maintaining their academics, extracurricular and community involvement, and taking strides towards that next step to college. And in addition to all that, so many have accounted for a shift in perspective that allows them to be even more grateful for what they have in life, knowing it can be taken away in a second, and feel a call to help others. A perspective that most young people don't usually get until much later in life...

To those who DID apply, we truly wish we could give a scholarship to each and every one of you to make the financial burden of college just a little more tolerable. We are so sincerely sorry for the loss of your loved ones. We appreciate the time and effort it took to complete the application and send it in with the necessary documentation. We commend you for taking that initiative, despite all the other responsibilities you face with the next exciting stage of your lives, and we enjoyed learning about each and every one of you and hearing about your loved ones. Thank you, and we hope you take us up on our offer to attend the 9th Annual Run for Row on August 20 (all the details are in your letters). We hope to get to meet you all!!