Again, Matthew Mitchell is the reason for our scholarship fund. Matthew has sponsored yet another "Penny Carnival", giving yet another opportunity for a person who stutters a chance to make changes to how they communicate and to move forward with their life.
Please re-read Matthew's story:
Matthew had been receiving therapy for about a year. He first came to me prior to entering kindergarten unable to speak. He would arrive with his parents and promptly crawl under my table and sit with his hands covering his mouth. His parents were of course very frightened and begging for help. They had located me through the internet.
Matthew and one or both of his parents came to see me for therapy every Saturday for two years. As I see it, the journey the Mitchell's undertook was one of love and faith. It was a two-hour ride just to get to my house. We would work on Matthew's speech for two-hours and then they would drive home. It took the entire day. The Mitchell's have another son who was often sick with asthma. If both parents didn't bring Matthew for speech therapy, it was because one was taking their other son to Children's Hospital in Buffalo.
I never heard a complaint, or a negative word from the Mitchell's. They were grateful and warm from the first day I met them. They never expressed worry that Matthew would not improve and they were steadfast in following through on recommendations for treatment. Often a Grandparent would accompany Matthew and his Mother. This is a family of support and dedication.
With prayer and practice Matthew has become a competent and effective speaker. He has presented to his class, as well as groups of children who come to me for help. Matthew's recovery is a blessing and now Matthew is giving back.
Last summer he was unable to attend treatment sessions because his mother, who was expecting a baby, was experiencing complications that prevented them from making the car ride for Matthew’s speech therapy sessions. During this time, Matthew would call and say he missed me. I heard little from him in August, but during this time, unbeknownst to me and all by himself, he was orchestrating and organizing a “penny carnival” to raise money for Freedom to Speak. He enlisted the help of his parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles to manage the little activities that Matthew would charge his friends pennies to play.
The first Saturday of September, Matthew returned for treatment lugging two large coffee containers into my house. Upon questioning, his story unraveled. My heart swelled as he told me how he and his family hoped I would use the money to help another young child who might not be able to afford speech therapy.
This summer, at age seven, Matthew, with the help of his family, held another penny carnival and raised $1000.00 to help someone else who stutters pay for treatment. Because of Matthew and his Family, The Matthew Mitchell Scholarship Fund has been established at Freedom to Speak.
How Do I Qualify for the Scholarship?
The scholarship is based on need. If you or your family are experiencing a period of time in your life where you are struggling to make "ends meet", you may qualify for the Matthew Michell Scholarship Fund. Working privately with Ms. Cochrane, together you determine what you are able to pay for treatment.