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Caroline Kitchen awarded first-ever Matty’s Vision Educational Scholarship

Updated: Oct 18, 2022

This past July, on Saturday the 21st at the Methodist church in Rome City Caroline Nicole Kitchen was awarded the inaugural Matty’s Vision Educational Scholarship. Matty’s Vision is a 501C3 whose mission is to bring musical instruments and opportunities into the lives of the visually impaired. The foundation’s name sake Matthew Maynes (pronounced “minus”) was there with co-founder Tammy Rugg-Klinefelter to present Caroline the scholarship. Tammy is the daughter of Nashville session picker and steel guitar icon Hal Rugg whose musical contributions and memory the foundation is in honor of.

The Matty’s Vision scholarship will be awarded to students graduating high school and headed for college to further their education. The scholarship is awarded to students who exemplify compassion for others, leadership, educational excellence and the ability to overcome adversity. Caroline met the following criteria to be awarded the scholarship in all categories:

  • She has shown compassion for others by spending numerous hours of community service helping in soup kitchens during the holidays, by performing community service through her school, and going on mission trips to both Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic.

  • She has shown leadership on the volley ball team, basketball team and softball team by example and by being a team captain. She was awarded an athletic scholarship to Bethel college because of her leadership and abilities as a member of the Elkhart Christian Academy Eagles… she was awarded her athletic scholarship for volleyball.

  • She has shown educational excellence by being a role model “student athlete” appearing on the honor roll with straight “A’s every single year in every single subject while she was in high school. Truly a “student athlete”, in that order – student first, then an athlete.

  • Most impressively, she has shown she can overcome adversity because of her faith (and her parents deserve a lot of credit for this) by being strong and supportive, in a very difficult situation while her dad has battled cancer.

Although Caroline is an excellent athlete and obviously does not have a disability as future recipients will, she was the perfect first recipient and a way to place the bar where it belongs for those to follow. As a side note, and as fate would have it, seven-year-old Matthew took to Caroline immediately making the day not only a fun reunion but a place where new relationships began as well.

Matty’s Vision is a Hal Rugg Foundation which raises money through live concerts, CD sales and online contributions to make sure that visually impaired students such as Matthew have the things they need musically to express themselves and develop with. The foundation has made numerous contributions to the Indiana School for the Blind, Tennessee School for the Blind and have begun working in Matthew’s school district in Tucson Arizona where he lives.

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