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Alexis Radcliff Named 2023 Graziadei Achievement Scholarship Award Winner

Alexis Radcliff and Aimee Combs pose for a picture.
Alexis Radcliff Named 2023 Graziadei Achievement Scholarship Award Winner
Published: June 20, 2023

The Exceptional Children’s Assistance Center is pleased to announce the winner of the 2023 Matthew C. Graziadei Achievement Scholarship Award: Alexis Radcliff.

When Alexis was three years old she was involved in an automobile accident that crushed her spine and caused her to be paralyzed from the chin down. After her parents and grandfather were no longer able to take care of Alexis, she became a ward of the state in foster care, and due to the care needed for her quadriplegia, she now lives in Brenners Children’s Hospital.

Alexis recently graduated from North Surry High School.  She took all her classes virtually and graduated with a 3.8 GPA. This remarkable student has been accepted to several colleges and would like to pursue a degree in mathematics with a concentration in secondary education in order to become a math teacher at the high school level.

“Alexis is like no other student that I have encountered in my twenty-seven years of education,” said Dr. Paige Badgett, Principal of North Surry High School. “She is goal-driven, which I find to be a highly admirable quality. Miss Ratcliff possesses an abundance of desirable traits such as courage, integrity, resilience, and leadership. She has truly exemplified what it means to be a North Surry High School Greyhound!”

In addition to her academic studies, Alexis ran for student council and obtained the position of Senior Class Vice President. She participated in chorus and attended concerts when transportation and nursing care could be provided and was a member of the Fan Club, helping to organize student body activities.

Kimberly Lyons, an exceptional student teacher at North Surry High, noted that “Alexis has the drive to achieve at everything she attempts and puts forth everything she has to attain her goals. Alexis not only directs herself in goals but also helps encourage those around her to achieve a higher standard as well. She provides great leadership and teaching skills in the classroom as well as in her living environment.”

This award includes a check for $1,500. Congratulations Alexis! We wish you all the best in your future endeavors!

 If you know a deserving senior with a disability whom you would like to nominate for the Graziadei Award, contact Cheryl Strupe: cstrupe@ecacmail.org.

About the Matthew C. Graziadei Award

Matthew Carmen Graziadei was a remarkable young man who died in January 1998 at the age of 26. At the age of seven Matt was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy. He graduated from Myers Park High School in Charlotte, NC, and was elected to Who’s Who in American High School Students. Matt was a student intern at the Charlotte Mint Museum and served as a Goodwill Ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Association both locally and statewide. He achieved President’s Honors at Central Piedmont Community College and served in Washington, DC with the US Surgeon General’s Council on Families and Disabilities. Matt also started his own business and was a contractor in facilities, engineering and computer services.

Scholarship Award recipients are selected by the Matthew C. Graziadei Scholarship Award Review Board based on these attributes:

  • Determination -  reaching above one’s imagination
  • Perseverance -  remaining steadfast against all odds
  • Persistence -  starting from scratch and striving until successful
  • Dedication -  maintaining solid effort and achievement
  • Confidence -  overcoming obstacles through internal courage
  • Motivation -  seeing life as a series of opportunities, not obstacles
  • Fortitude -  keeping going after others have stopped
  • Accomplishment -  succeeding with on-going new vision