The Maria McTernan Sibling Scholarship was established in 2020. It is named in honor of Maria McTernan. For more than a decade, beginning in 2003, Maria served as the Rett Syndrome Association of Massachusetts (RSAM) Vice-President of Programming and then as Co-President. It was primarily because of Maria’s determination and effort that RSAM was granted five entries for charity runners in the 2011 Boston Marathon.
Maria chaired the RSAM Marathon Committee until her passing in 2014. In 2020, RSAM participated in the Boston Marathon for the tenth consecutive year. In large part it is the funds raised by the Marathon Teams that allow RSAM to offer this sibling scholarship and to carry out its many other endeavors. We are honored to offer this scholarship again for a second year. By supporting our families, RSAM remains true to Maria’s vision.
She is greatly missed and in our hearts, we hold her close. Naming this scholarship in her honor is a small token of RSAM’s appreciation of her friendship and her dedication to our cause. Maria’s warmth, compassion, and sincerity were appreciated by the many families she touched. Maria and her husband Gerry have three children, Lori, their youngest, has Rett Syndrome. Maria was also involved with the Rett community on the national level and worked professionally with an organization for individuals living with disabilities. This scholarship is named in tribute to Maria whose dedication to the disability community serves as an inspiration.
The Rett Syndrome Association of Massachusetts, d.b.a. Rett Syndrome Angels, recognizes the strain that having a child with Rett can put on a family both financially and emotionally. Not only parents and guardians, but siblings of those afflicted with Rett share the daily struggles against Rett Syndrome and make sacrifices to help their brother or sister live a healthier fuller life. In appreciation for all that siblings do for their families, Rett Syndrome Angels are offering up to $2,000 for financial assistance for college. An announcement will be made by April 1st, 2021.