Texas Tech University and the Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering partnered recently with Make-A-Wish North Texas to turn a dream into reality.
Matthew, an 18-year-old high-school senior battling a brain tumor, wished to have his college tuition paid for. That wish has been granted, with Texas Tech and Make-A-Wish each giving Matthew $5,000 scholarships and the College of Engineering adding a $2,000 scholarship. The $12,000 total scholarship gives him the ability to attend Texas Tech tuition-free for the next school year.
Matthew received the scholarships Wednesday during an event at the Frazier Alumni Pavilion and, though he knew about the Make-A-Wish scholarship, he was surprised to learn that he’d also receive scholarships from the university and the college.
“Today I got a pleasant surprise, with a lot of support from this campus,” Matthew said. “I was happy to attend before and now I’m even more excited because I already can see how loved I’ll be here.”
Texas Tech President Lawrence Schovanec, College of Engineering Dean Al Sacco Jr and Texas Tech head football coach Joey McGuire attended the event, with McGuire bringing Red Raider football tickets and an autographed ball for Matthew.
“As we go about our daily business and all the issues that come up, it’s a moment like this that makes you realize why we are in the business of education,” Schovanec said. “That this young man would give us this chance to be a part of his life is humbling.”
Matthew has enrolled in Red Raider Orientation and, along with the scholarships for tuition, was presented with a scholarship to attend Red Raider Camp later this summer. He also was offered an on-campus job for the fall semester.
“It’s amazing,” Matthew’s father Shane said. “It’s going to allow him to not worry as much. The first year, you don’t want to worry about your money and getting jobs and the hard times.
“I did the full-time work and the full-time college. Now his first year let him get in the swing of things. This is just going to take so much of the load off.”
Matthew has a passion for computers and will pursue a degree from the Department of Computer Science.
Make-A-Wish’s North Texas chapter is one of 59 chapters across the United States and the Make-A-Wish organization has fulfilled wishes for more than 340,000 children since 1980. The North Texas chapter encompasses 161 of the 254 counties in Texas and has granted more than 11,500 wishes since 1982.