Metea Valley Senior Gets $10,000 Surprise Grant

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It seemed like just a typical assembly last Friday at Metea Valley High School…until CBS Chicago’s Audrina Bigos appeared, with news of a $10,000 award. The man the award was named for, Keith Melaragno, just happened to be in attendance, to give it out.

“The first recipient of the Keith Award…Jocelyn Grabow!” announced Melaragno.

Surprising Moment

Jocelyn Grabow is a senior at Metea, and member of the soccer team. A well-timed photo-op helped get her into place for the surprise.

“I could kind of tell that there was something a little weird going on because Mr. Trost was like no, you need to hold the trophy. Because usually Leanne will stand in the middle of the picture because she’s taller,” said Grabow. “But, I was completely shocked. I was not expecting this at all on my last Friday of high school.”

About The KEITH

The KEITH is part of Buddy’s HELPERS Making a Difference On and Off the Field campaign. Melaragno is a retired executive of PepsiCo known for lending a hand and making a difference. The KEITH rewards just that, honoring a student athlete who has gone above and beyond at helping others. Melaragno says Grabow was the ideal candidate.

“If you look at her resume it was by far, you know, outdid every other resume. Based on just the criteria of giving back, again, making a difference on and off the field…doing things for people you’ve never met.” said Melaragno.

Charitable Spirit

Grabow has had a hand in many charitable acts. To name just a few…she planned and implemented a supply drive for Edward Hospital and Hesed House during the initial phases of the COVID pandemic; gives support to other Metea students through regular connectivity events; and most recently, coordinated the Filling Hearts With Hope Spring Sports Fundraiser to once again benefit Edward Hospital.

Her giving spirit comes naturally.

“The reason why I give back to the community is not because I want to be recognized for it, it’s just because I want to help others out and kind of make a difference,” said Grabow.

What She’ll Do With It

The $10,000 grant can be used for college, a down payment on a first home, or given back to charity. Grabow wasted no time in deciding what her intent would be.

“I’m definitely gonna donate it. I’m not sure what charity or what I’m gonna donate to or for. But I definitely need to do some research and make sure that it gets used to the best of its ability, cause that’s a lot of money,” said Grabow.

Naperville News 17’s Kim Pirc and Patrick Codo report.

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