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RUFF presents namesake scholarship to Matthew Herrell

Matthew Herrell received the first scholarship named in his honor from Ready yoUrself For the Future (RUFF). (CONTRIBUTED)
Matthew Herrell received the first scholarship named in his honor from Ready yoUrself For the Future (RUFF). (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Matthew Herrell received the first scholarship named in his honor from Ready yoUrself For the Future (RUFF).

Herrell is a 2014 graduate of James Clemens High School.

RUFF established the annual Matthew Herrell Scholarship for $1,000 to recognize dedication and leadership. “Matthew has left such a great legacy on our program that our board wanted to honor him for many years to come,” RUFF founder Anthony Graham said.

“Matt says the scholarship being named in his honor was a huge privilege. He sees it as a responsibility to continue to live with integrity, commitment and leadership,” Graham said.

The scholarship will spotlight a young man who has epitomized RUFF’s three major tenets: integrity first, excellence in all we do, and lead by example. Recipients must have one year of active membership.

To fund the scholarships, RUFF has designated funds received from Sen. Bill Holtzclaw.

“I thank God for allowing Anthony Graham and me to cross paths,” Herrell said. “The opportunity to mentor younger boys, be involved in the community and grow myself was unseen when I first joined RUFF. But now looking back, I know it was more than just coincidence that I met Anthony.”

Herrell has excelled in RUFF for more than two years. He coordinates small groups during leadership retreats. For “Motivational Monday” 20-minute sessions at Heritage Elementary School, Herrell coordinated meetings, selected topics and prepared weekly lessons for up to 25 boys.

“Matt has become an icon at Heritage,” Graham said. Heritage boys completed a survey that asked, “Who is your hero/person you look up?” “Matt’s name appeared over and over. He made such a strong impact on those young men.”

Herrell will study surveying and geomatics at Troy University, where he received a full-tuition academic scholarship. He also earned Madison County Home Builders Association’s $1,000 scholarship and a Jet-Setter Award for James Clemens theatre.

Matthew’s parents are Dave and Shanen Herrell.

“If it is God’s will, I would love to continue to help Anthony after college with the RUFF program,” Matthew said.

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