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Applications now being accepted for the 2021 Matthew C. Graziadei Achievement Scholarship Award!

silhouette image of graduates throwing their caps in the air with text that reads The 2021 Matthew C. Graziadei Achievement Scholarship Award, Open to ANY North Carolina High School Senior with ANY Type of Disability
Applications now being accepted for the 2021 Matthew C. Graziadei Achievement Scholarship Award!
Published: October 20, 2020

The Exceptional Children’s Assistance Center (ECAC) is proud to offer the Matthew C. Graziadei Achievement Scholarship Award to a North Carolina high school senior with a disability.  This award includes a $1,500 scholarship, to be used for any post high school learning experience/training or for equipment/technology needed for employment.


ALL North Carolina students with disabilities are eligible for nomination.  Including students enrolled in the Occupation Course of Study, students who will be receiving a Graduate Certificate and students enrolled in the Future Ready Course of Study.


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 will be 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


Applications will only be accepted through Wednesday, February 10, 2021.   The award will be presented to the winning student during his/her high school awards ceremony.  Based on applications received, additional students may be selected as Runner Up.


Applicants must submit the following documents for consideration:

  • Student Information Form – TRANSCRIPTS ARE NOT REQUIRED
  • Nomination Narrative - A one-page narrative, completed by school counselor, student or someone who knows the student describing the student and his/her accomplishments in relationship to the attributes. Include a brief personal history, education or career goals, and reasons why they should be selected for this award.
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation
    • Administrator from high School: Principal or Assistant Principal
    • A Teacher, Coach, or School Counselor
    • Community Member – can include student’s employer, Minister, another student, service provider, etc.


One copy of the completed, signed application packet must be received by Wednesday, February 10, 2021.  Winner and finalists, if applicable, will be selected by April 15th and the Individual nominating the student or the high school counselor will be notified by May 3. Incomplete applications will be deemed ineligible and rejected.



To send via email, scan your completed application, supporting materials, etc. into a single PDF and email to MCGaward@ecacmail.org.  If you have not received an email confirmation within 3 business days, please contact Cheryl Strupe: 800-962-6817 before application deadline.

If emailing this document is not possible, documents may be sent via USPS mail, FedEx, UPS or hand delivered to:

Matthew C. Graziadei Award   


907 Barra Row, Suite 103

Davidson, NC  28036