Winner of the Motherhood Matters Scholarship–Why She Impressed Me

   A few months ago I sat in a high school scholarship assembly with my daughter who was to receive recognition. After awhile, I began to notice an amazing pattern–a young man’s name continued to be called about every two minutes, give or take. He would be called up to the stage–humble, gracious, and appreciative–then walk the length of it to shake hands with teachers, then make a loop up the seats and back to where he should have sat down. When his name would be called again, and instead of sitting down would walk straight down to the stage and repeat the process. Rinse and repeat. It was incredible.
   Among other awards, he also received the U.S. Presidential Award, given to only two people in each state. And would now be invited to the White House to receive it in a ceremony.
   This young man, Riley Lewis, had been stellar and not just academically. He had dealt with extremely difficult family and life circumstances, AND apparently while achieving a 36 on the ACT. And was quick to share that he had taken the test 11 times to get it. Who does that? And who shares that story, rather than just come off like he woke up genius (which, I’m kind of thinking…)
   Immediately, I saw two things–a lot of vision, determination, and hard work on Riley’s part; and a whole lot of mama support on the back-end by his mother, Tori. After talking with her I realized it had indeed been almost a part-time job tracking all of the academic and financial paths they were hoping for him.
   Within that news, I discovered that Tori wouldn’t be going with Riley due to personal financial circumstances. I literally could not sit still with this–what an incredible experience to share the White House experience with her son and she would miss out.
   Not so, said I. And a plan began to form. Our Motherhood Matters scholarship hadn’t yet been given and this seemed a perfect fit. But the typical amount wouldn’t be what she needed to make this happen. Enter a gracious anonymous donor, and we were able to donate what she needed to be with her son for this incredible apex moment of such an intense year.
Tori and Riley
   In true form to motherhood, the only time we could meet to hand off the scholarship was when we were both taking kids to events so we met at the park in between at a mutual middle point. Hilarious, but fabulous.
   So, my dear friends, please congratulate Tori Lewis on receiving the 2018 Motherhood Matters Scholarship! She will keep us posted on their White House experience and how it went for them. For me, I’m thrilled to see mother and son complete this life-changing experience just as they have pursued it–together, with faith, determination, and joy.

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