A few months ago I wrote a story about Brianna Sitwell, a 2014 Terry Fox Humanitarian Award recipient. Well, turns out fellow camper Matthew Silver also received this awesome scholarship.
Matthew and Brianna first met when they were three years old. They hung out as toddlers and kindergarteners but lost touch after that. They reconnected a couple of years ago at Echo Lake Youth Camp and more recently at Pine Orchard Family Camp. It was through Facebook that they discovered they were both being interviewed for the 2014 Terry Fox Humanitarian Award.
Matthew came across the Terry Fox award while researching scholarships. He read stories of past award recipients and felt that this scholarship was a good fit for him. From start to finish the process was a family affair. Matthew’s Mom helped him with the application and his sister prepared him for the interview process. His church family also played a big role. Matthew attends Whitby Free Methodist Church and both Pastor Cliff Fletcher and the worship team leader Trevor Daniels provided references for him.
I asked Matthew about some of his volunteer and humanitarian work, “I was a Pine Orchard cabin leader, peer tutor, community volunteer and part of the media team at church. But as Matthew pointed out the award is also about, “exemplifying Terry Fox’s character. Perseverance and dedication were a big part of his character.”
During his interview Matthew was asked which of Terry Fox’s character qualities he exemplified. Matthew answered, “When Terry Fox was at university he tried out for the basketball team and his coach told him he made the team not because of his playing ability but because he was dedicated and determined to excel. And he wanted the team to excel. I share a personal obstacle similar to Terry’s that I had to overcome. And after one of my favorite years of soccer where we had won the playoffs I was awarded “Most Determined Player” at the awards ceremony.
Matthew received a phone call last June informing him that he was selected as one of recipients for 2014. He is not only grateful for the award but also how the process transformed his view of communicating with others, “I learned how to collaborate, influence and establish a rapport with others. It has changed my life.”
My favourite part of my chat with Matthew, “This story is a testament of how good God is and how effective prayer is. That can reassure young Christians that they can work and it can pay off and that it can unite families in prayer.”
Matthew is studying Honours Business Mathematics Co-op at University of Waterloo and the Terry Fox Humanitarian Award will cover his four years of tuition.