Matt Schekel Memorial Scholarship


The Matt Schekel Memorial Scholarship Fund was created early in 2002 by Marcia and Kurt Schekel in memory of their son Matthew. Seeds of Learning, with Matt’s family and friends, wishes to bestow this memorial scholarship on youth who have financial need and who exhibit compassion, kindness and a strong commitment to serve their global community as Seeds of Learning work group volunteers.

Matthew Schekel was born in Colorado in 1970. He grew up in Washington State. When he was in the second grade, a 7-year-old Vietnamese girl was added to his class after the start of the school year. She spoke no English. Matt befriended her. He introduced her to others and made sure she was not left alone on the playground.

This was the way Matt continued to live his life with kindness, openness and curiosity for the world. He was a reader, a big movie and TV fan, and a music lover. He had a great sense of humor and an open heart. He accepted all people and was especially interested in those who struggled in our society.

Matt died in 1998 when his bicycle and a truck met at an intersection in Portland, Oregon. He was 27 and a student at the Northwest Film School in Portland.

If Matt were here today, he would support Seeds of Learning programs enthusiastically. We would like to affirm his participation through this scholarship, enabling others to be as active as Matt might have been in building schools and relationships in Central America.

— Marcia and Kurt Schekel


The Matt Schekel Memorial Scholarship is available to any youth participant who:

  • Has been accepted into the Work Group program
  • Is under the age of 30
  • Demonstrates financial need
  • Expresses and demonstrates compassion for others through service.
  • Seeds of Learning actively recruits and supports volunteers from all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Criteria for Selection

  • Financial need
  • Demonstration (in the written letter) of skills or experiences that would be highly beneficial to the SOL Work Group service project
  • Commitment to community service
    Note: Preference will be given to youth volunteers who have not formerly applied for SOL scholarship assistance.


The average scholarship amount is approximately $250.00, but varies based on funds available and proven financial need.


The Matt Schekel Memorial Scholarship application form can be found here. The scholarship deadline for 2024 work group scholarships is April 15, 2024. We would be glad to help support individuals who need financial assistance with ideas, suggestions, and administrative support for their fundraising. Please contact with any questions.