Helping and serving people was always part of Matthew Myers’ life ambition. A 20-year-old communication student, Myers wasn’t certain about his future but knew that engaging with others would always be important.
After Myers died tragically after a car struck him on campus in 2005, his parents Kevin and Chris and sister Jenna (’11, English literature and language) wanted to carry on his legacy and passions. Since he loved to run and had a passion to serve others, the family decided that a scholarship 5K at Cal Poly Pomona would be the best way to honor him.
“Our aim is to move through the tragedy into the spirit of helping others. We are trying to reach out to students who have a lot of the same struggles in life that our son did,” Kevin says. “Our son was an average student. “Getting an education wasn’t the only thing in his life. He gave his time considerably. He volunteered at church and for youth activities, helped the elderly and had a job. Matt had to work hard just to get a B, but being a well-rounded person was just as important to him.”
Every year, the family presents the scholarship awards and the Myers Cup, which honors the most spirited team in the race. Over the years, many students have expressed their gratitude to the Myers family, sharing how the event and scholarships have helped them.
“Our hope is that the recipients will look beyond the financial gain to an understanding of the importance of helping one another and supporting each other,” Chris says. “We’d like to encourage them to continue in those efforts.
“As I walk the course, I just remember that you have to overcome the things life throws at you. The path may not be easy, but you continue to turn the bad to good.”