Archive for the ‘Notices’ Category

Students and teachers at Cuesta College have designed and created an amazing garden in Matt’s memory on the Cuesta College campus. It’s a peaceful spot with views of the grassy landscape that abuts the college.

Many thanks to everyone who was involved with this project. It is a meaningful and poignant tribute to Matt. I know he would have loved it.

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The Matthew Aydelott Endowment for Youth has been established as a scholarship fund through the Cuesta College Foundation. Anyone who would like to donate to this fund can do so both online and by mail. Instructions for doing so can be found on the Scholarship Endowment page of the Foundation for California Community Colleges website. To direct your donation to the fund, put “Cuesta College: Matthew Aydelott Endowment for Youth” as the designation on the mail-in form, and under “Gift Tribute” on the online form, select “Cuesta College” from the “Designate funds for a specific community college” drop-down menu, and type “For the Matthew Aydelott Endowment for Youth” in the “Further Information or comments for designating your gift” text box.

Thanks so much to anyone who makes a donation in Matt’s memory!

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The SBCAG today voted unanimously to recommend that Caltrans move forward with their construction of a permanent barrier on the Cold Spring Arch Bridge. Many people obviously worked very hard to make this happen and it was an inspiration to see Matt’s mother, my Aunt Karen, deliver her incredibly moving and powerful speech despite extremely difficult circumstances. More than anything else, I think that her words made it clear to everyone with a conscience that the cost to all of us if this project were abandoned would be unbearable. Special thanks should also go to my sister, Jenny, for the highly effective organization of her exceptional research at stopthetragedy.org and her great idea to set up what turned out to be an exceedingly successful petition, amassing an impressive 290 signatures in just one week.

I was extremely moved by the testimony given by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department. Sheriff Bill Brown’s presentation made it painfully clear that the lack of a barrier at this bridge poses a continuing threat to the physical and psychological well-being of local safety personnel. This point was of crucial importance to one SBCAG member who voted in favor of the barrier for solely this reason. Dr. Lisa Firestone of The Glendon Association debunked false arguments made by opponents of the barrier and also showed video testimony by Kevin Hines, a survivor of a jump from the Golden Gate Bridge and living proof that most people who attempt suicide by jumping are seeking a permanent solution to a temporary problem and deserve the chance to take a different course of action.

Congratulations to everyone. It is such a huge relief to know that something will be done to prevent more people from being lost to this bridge.

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Thursday, October 16 at 8:30AM

Santa Barbara Board of Supervisors Hearing Room
4th Floor, 105 E. Anapamu Street
Santa Barbara CA 93110

The Santa Barbara County Association of Governments

To prepare for the hearing you can do the following things:

  • Learn more about the facts surrounding the construction of the barrier at stopthetragedy.org
  • Take a look at the Agenda for the meeting, the Cold Spring Bridge Project Public Hearing is item 9 on the Agenda
  • Regardless of your ability to attend the meeting, please send a letter in support of the barrier to The SBCAG Board of Directors, even though it is important that local residents support the barrier, I do not believe that this is a local issue as people from all over the country, and indeed the world, have been affected by the losses resulting from the lack of a barrier at this bridge, sample letters can be found here

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A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 28, 2008, at the Cuesta College Conference Center.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Matthew Aydelott Endowment for Youth, Cuesta College Foundation, P.O. Box 8106, San Luis Obispo, CA 93403.

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Remembering Matt

Matt was born in September 1969 in Decatur, Ill., and spent his formative years in Minneapolis. He attended Breck School, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, the University of Minnesota at Minneapolis, and attained his bachelor of science degree from Excelsior College. 

Matt worked for Cuesta College in the Workforce Economic Development Department. He started as job developer for the CalWorks Program in February 2000 mentoring students on welfare as they transitioned back into the workplace. He had a knack for finding the right opportunity for people overcoming life obstacles.

In 2002, Matt initiated a workplace readiness class for underserved, high-risk students throughout the county. By 2007, this program had grown to serve more than 400 youth per year. Matt also directed the Summer Bridge to Success program for 25 graduates of the workplace readiness class.

In 2007, Matt became supervisor of the Independent Living Program, in conjunction with the Department of Social Services, which provides supportive services to foster youth in San Luis Obispo County. His vision was to see all foster youth acquire the skills and resources they need to succeed in life as they leave foster care at the age of 18. Matt had a unique ability to connect with youth, especially those struggling to find their way in life.

In his private life, Matt was passionate about music, politics, literature, and creative writing. Anyone who knew Matt knew how much he enjoyed listening to U2 and The Replacements; reading Harper Lee and Richard Ford; and voting Democratic. And Matt could not have been more articulate about these passions. 

Everyone who knew Matt valued his wit, intelligence and compassion. Above all else, Matt treasured his family and his many friends.

Matt will be deeply missed by his friends at Cuesta and DSS; his ILP staff; the many young people he helped through Cuesta; the countless friends he’s made in Minneapolis, Chicago, California and throughout the country; and his loving mother, brother, sister-in-law, father, maternal grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins.

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