Philanthropy Stories

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Philanthropy Stories

Philanthropy Stories

Scholarship recipient pays it forward

Matt Elliott of Norfolk was only 26 years old when he created a scholarship fund in memory of two high school athletes who passed away all too young. This former scholarship recipient is paying it forward himself.
Matt Elliott of Norfolk was only 26 years old in 2015 when he created a permanent scholarship fund in memory of two high school athletes who passed away all too young. The Hampton Roads Community Foundation was a logical place for Matt to connect since he benefited from a four-year community foundation scholarship while studying biology from Virginia Military Institute. He is the youngest person to start an endowed fund at the community foundation.

Matt started the Dean-Callahan Scholarship Fund with $26,000 he raised from a swim-off and volleyball tournament in tribute to Carlton Dean and Joey Callahan. Like Matt, they swam on the Maury High School team. The scholarship is for Norfolk Public School athletes going to college. Matt continues to add to the fund each year as do other donors who knew Carlton and Joey and their families.

The first Dean-Callahan Scholarship was awarded in 2016 to Brittany Eley, who was a Maury swim team captain, track team member and dance captain. She is now a student at North Carolina A&T State University in North Carolina with plans to become a zoologist.

"I knew how much both Carlton and Joey meant to the community and how big they were in athletics. And, I knew how much the foundation scholarship helped me," Matt says. "This was perfect."


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