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Matthew Williams Honored for Community Service

Krislyn Cardoza, Editor-in-Chief

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Matthew Williams is recognized at the St. Baldrick’s assembly.

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program is the United States’ largest youth recognition program based exclusively on volunteer community service. Since 1995, it has recognized more than 120,000 young people who have made a difference in their communities–one of which is our very own Saxon, Matthew Williams.

Sixteen-year-old Matthew has taken on the responsibility of expanding and maintaining the parent resource library at his local Easterseals facility. The facility provides various programs and services to assist children born with disabilities.  Matthews’ efforts give parents much needed information as they strive to raise their children to attain independence.

“Matthew has been instrumental in updating and organizing these materials that have been neglected due to a shortage of staff time.  He has spent countless hours revitalizing this important yet neglected resource for our parents,” Cara Long, Parent Liaison at Easter Seals, exclaims in gratitude for William’s work.

After twelve years of intense therapy to overcome the challenges of cerebral palsy, Williams wanted to give back to the organization. While his treatment at Easterseals began at thirteen months and ended by the time he turned 13, his volunteer experiences dated back to seven years old, where Matthew spoke at rotary clubs, “charming audiences into donating” to raise awareness and jumpstart the services that children need.

I enjoy and have the ability to give back to people who gave me my independence.”

— Matthew Williams

“Matthew is thorough and meticulous in all he does,” remarks Jenny Chidlow, Volunteer and Community Engagement Coordinator of the Easterseals facility in Fox Valley and DuPage County. “His commitment to giving back to Easterseals and of being of service shows in his work, which he always approaches with a sense of personal responsibility and positivity.”

With Matthews’ diligence and time commitment, it’s a wonder that he manages to balance all his activities and homework. Williams demonstrates outstanding time management skills and shed light on his ability to stay on top of his work: he works on school and Easterseals work at same time on different laptops.

“I’m not forced to volunteer. I wasn’t looking for recognition or possible scholarships,” states Williams when explaining his motivation to volunteer. “I enjoy and have the ability to give back to people who gave me my independence.”

Although this recipient of the Prudential Spirit of Community Award has already left a profound impact on the community, Williams has future goals for the Easterseals facility: bring in barcodes to scan resources, change the logo to rebrand library, learn marketing to create signage, and connect with satellite centers to attain new materials.

“Volunteer!” Williams encourages.  “Choose an organization that matches your beliefs and values and one that will allow you to grow as a person with knowledge and character-traits that will share throughout your life,” Williams adds.

“I am so grateful for Matthew’s dedication along with his meticulous work ethic that has made our Parent Resource Library something we can once again be proud of,” states Cara Long. We, the Village of Schaumburg, are grateful to have such a dedicated member as a part of our community.

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