SLEF 2018 Perseverance Award Scholarship Winner: Morgan Booth


Morgan Booth has a story to share. It’s a story full of love, grief, strength, sacrifice and a small act of kindness that changed everything.

But mostly, it’s a story about life.

For her last English assignment of her senior year, Morgan could have written about that fateful day in Room A23 at Bartlett Elementary when her third-grade teacher, Mrs. Walters, got the phone call that she had always known was coming. She could have written about a childhood full of hospital visits and the time she had to try to reteach her Dad how to say her name. But in that last English paper, Morgan chose to tell something different.

“My entire life, I have been telling different versions of the same story, the story of my dad’s death. But today instead of telling the story I’ve told over a million times I want to change the perspective. I won’t be talking about how my dad died. I will tell you how he lived.”

She wrote about how his young life was filled with tragedy, heartbreak and hope. She wrote about how he found her mother and how for years they tried to conceive their first child together, her. She wrote about how he suffered his first grand mal seizure the year she was born, how he was diagnosed with stage 2 brain cancer: “You can say my dad’s life was full of endless sorrow and misfortune, but he never would. He worked hard during every moment of it, never gave up, never used the word unfair, never showed weakness, and never felt defeat.”

It was during those dark days and hospital stays that Morgan found her purpose. She remembered one time in particular when a nurse went out of her way to make her feel like a normal kid: “She brought me Popsicles and let me watch TV; she brought color to all my grey surroundings.”

Because of those small acts of kindness—because someone noticed that she was a kid who didn’t quite understand everything that was going on—Morgan wants to study nursing at Western Michigan University in the fall. And she credited the strength of both her parents—her mom and her dad—as inspiration for her work ethic, determination and compassion.

“I had two role models in my life that worked and provided for us every single day,” Morgan said. “The reason why I am doing all of this and I am able to be strong is because of my mom. She sacrifices everything for us, still now. The reason I am the person I am today is because of her. She is so strong and I just really wanted to be like her.”

The South Lyon Educational Foundation congratulates Morgan for her hard work and noteworthy achievements in both athletics and academics by presenting her with its first-ever Perseverance Award. This scholarship was created to recognize students who have overcome significant obstacles and pursued their goals with diligence and success.

And for Morgan, the ongoing story of her parents’ strength serves as both motivation and guide.

“That is why I wanted to finally tell his story because I describe myself as strong and brave, but I believe the true definition of those characteristics are my dad and how he chose to live his life, with joy and love no matter what life threw at him. And that’s how I want to live my life, I want to push through my difficulties and hardships and become even half the person he was.”


©2018 South Lyon Educational Foundation 345 South Warren - South Lyon, MI 48178

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