Family establishes scholarship fund for students

This past January, Grayslake North High School lost part of its family, a student named Matthew “Mateo” Garcia. While his family was grieving, they came up with an idea to honor the young man through a scholarship with the high school.
“The plan is, at least for this year, we are going to be giving out two $2,500 scholarships, same thing for next year and then the year that Mateo would have graduated. [Mrs. Medina] is trying to raise another $5,000 to give out another two,” said associate principal of student services Megan Licht.
The scholarship with be open to seniors who have been accepted into a two or four year college. The criteria for students to apply will be achieving average to above average grades, one essay, will have to display strong leadership skills and work with the community. All applicants are due April 5.
“As we thought about the situation, we asked ourselves ‘what was our last selfless act?’ To our amazement, it was difficult to remember. So we wanted to do something that would honor Mateo’s selfless act,” said Susan Medina, Mateo’s mother.
As their selfless act, Susan Medina and her family choose to help high school students with the scholarship. The essay that is required for the scholarship is going to have to be about what makes you happy. The essay could be about a sport, a person and more, as long as it is something that makes you happy. Once a senior student wins the scholarship, they can use that $2,500 for anything for their college journey ahead. Aside from the scholarship, the family is also working with other ways to help students.
“We’ve started the ‘Mateo Angel Fund’ that will help kids at GNHS who can’t afford field trips, school and athletic fees,” Medina said. “We are also working to create sustainable food donations to stock the GNHS food pantry. We have already made the first donation: granola bars, nuts, fruit bars and juice boxes. We are also working with Cleveland Elementary School, where Mateo attended, to start a soccer program, as it was Mateo’s favorite sport,” Medina said
For the scholarship funding, the family started a GoFundMe page. People have donated more, and all the extra money will go to the new “Mateo Angel Fund.” The “Mateo Angel Fund” will help many students be able to afford things they need for school or sports. The family has been working very close with Grayslake North for not only the scholarships but also anything they can do to help lift some stress off of students that need a little extra help. Much like Mateo, when he was with he friends or family, all he wanted was for them to be happy. Mateo would always say, “If my friends are happy, I’m happy.”