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Morton Family Creates Scholarship For Students With Dyslexia

Peggy and Brian McFeeters are starting the Reward Resilience Dyslexia Scholarship fund that, along with their daughter and her husband, was created to financially support a Morton High School graduate who struggles with dyslexia. The monetary award will be given away annually to a deserving student to support his or her future endeavors whether that's attending a four-year university or enrolling in a trade or technical school.

One of the founders of the scholarship, Peggy McFeeters, said it was her mother who first sparked the idea of starting a scholarship.

“This kind of all started with my Mom. When she passed away, she left some money. And she was a very giving person. I knew I wanted to do something with it, didn’t know what. I mean I wanted to be able to see it at work," she said. "So I mentioned it to (my daughter), and I really feel good about this project. I think that kids will benefit for a long time.” 

Dyslexia is a very common learning disorder affecting reading, which impacts individuals of all ages. Laurie Werries, Peggy's daughter, said having dyslexia makes school and learning extremely difficult. 

“A statistic right now is that 20% of the population could have some form of dyslexia. It certainly comes on a spectrum. It’s those kids that you think, 'Gosh, they are smart but there is just something that really prevents them from getting those good grades.' I would venture a guess that most of the time, it is some form of dyslexia," Werries said.

She said a big reason for starting this scholarship was to give students an alternate way to apply for a scholarship that doesn’t have to include reading and writing. 

“Most scholarships are written essays and for some dyslexic students, that is not their best medium to present their ideas," Werries said. "So we are willing to accept artwork, video, really any form of a creative idea that they can use to demonstrate why they are the best candidate and how dyslexia has impacted their journey. "

McFeeters and Werries said they're both thrilled to be able to help serve dyslexic students in the community and both agreed the scholarship would not have been created if it weren’t for the help from the Morton Community Foundation. 

Scott Witzig, the foundation's executive director, called it a privilege to work with the McFeeters and Werries to establish the endowment fund for the scholarship that will help serve individuals with dyslexia for years to come. 

“The community foundation is a 501(c)3 charity that is designed to help people put together endowment funds that benefit their favorite cause. So this is a perfect example of how this family has done something beautiful to support a cause they are passionate about," Witzig said. "We would love to talk to anyone else who has an idea of their own that they would like to support through an endowment fund.” 

For more information about the scholarship and the Morton Community Foundation or the Reward Resilience Dyslexia Scholarship.

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