The Alpha Kappa Alpha Educational Advancement Foundation (EAF) has contributed $10,000 toward the college education of a promising young man who risked his life to save his relatives in a tragic hit-and-run accident.
Matthew Brown, from Chicago Heights, Illinois who sustained massive injuries that resulted in his left leg being amputated, was officially presented the check by Alpha Kappa Alpha’s international president Carolyn House Stewart during EAF’s luncheon that was held during the Sorority’s biennial meeting in San Francisco. The check is a “President’s Scholarship” that Stewart presents to those whose heroism and achievements are extraordinarily remarkable.
The scholarship is being set aside for his college education and will be used to pay Matthew’s expenses at Prairie State College in Chicago Heights, where he plans to major in criminal justice.
In making the announcement, Stewart applauded Brown for his rare courage and will to continue to excel despite the massive injuries he sustained.
The tragedy that led to Brown’s hospitalization took place on March 17 when a driver came barreling down a Chicago street. Seeing that his relatives were in danger, Matthew pushed them out of harm’s way. In committing this act of bravery and love, he took the full force of the impact. In the aftermath of this tragedy, his right leg was amputated.
The tragedy was heightened because the driver never stopped and remains at large.
Matthew underwent several operations and will continue to endure months of rehabilitation. However, in a show of determination and indomitable courage, he worked, pushed and endured pain and grueling physical rehabilitation so he could achieve his ultimate goal: to attend his high school graduation from Bloom Township High School just eleven weeks after his -accident. As he mounted the stage in his wheelchair to receive his diploma, the audience erupted in applause.
When AKA’s President learned of the tragedy, she directed Barbara Sutton, EAF’s executive director, to explore ways the Sorority could help ease his hardships and help him realize his dreams.
After talking to Brown and his mother, the pair indicated that he wanted to realize his dream to attend Prairie State College to pursue an associate’s degree in criminal justice and to later earn a bachelor’s degree. His ultimate dream is to become a crime scene investigator.
When they learned of his wishes, President Stewart and Sutton put plans in motion to grant the scholarship. As a show of love, they visited with Matthew at Hope Children’s Hospital in Chicago to announce the award and to wish him good cheer. They were heartened that he was in good spirits and that he was grateful for the scholarship that will substantially help in underwriting his college expenses.
The formal announcement of the scholarship was made at the Luncheon that 1,000 members of the Sorority attended.
Because of his injuries, neither Brown nor family members attended the luncheon. However, they expressed their appreciation through a pre-recorded video.
“Matthew Brown is the very embodiment of the word ‘hero’”, declared Stewart. “His singular act of courage has earned the admiration of all who have heard his story. By establishing this Scholarship Fund, Alpha Kappa Alpha Educational Advancement Foundation, Inc. is helping to assure that he receives the assistance to attend college. Alpha Kappa Alpha will continue to follow his progress and will continue to be a source of uplift and support as he continues his journey to recovery.”