The Matthew B. Schoonover Educational Center was dedicated in December 2017 with support from our donors to honor the memory of Matthew Baldwin Schoonover and all the lives lost to the disease of addiction. Matt died of a drug overdose at 21, but his legacy—and his name—will be remembered as a force for the prevention of drug use and addiction.
The Matthew B. Schoonover Educational Center
- Brings vital awareness to the lives lost, altered, and affected by the disease of addiction.
- Provides a center for trainings, education, and collaboration to inspire prevention solutions.
- Provides a comfortable setting with state-of-the-art technology to foster learning.
To date, the Center continues to live up to these promises.
Our trainers have hosted dozens of educational sessions at the Center to improve and develop Ohio’s prevention workforce, teaching them how to implement school-based prevention programs, assess their community’s readiness and specific needs, form an effective coalition, engage youth in prevention, become certified prevention professionals, and more.
We’ve rented the facility to other prevention providers for their events so that all may benefit from the Center. Additionally, we’ve used the Center as a rallying point for volunteers to do their part for prevention, for youth from across Ohio to plan comprehensive change on a statewide scale, and for the dozens of community coalitions, youth-led prevention providers, colleges and universities, and grieving families that comprise Ohio’s prevention networks.
We do this because we know overdose deaths are preventable. We do this because effective prevention will save lives and families. We do this because addiction robs families of their loved ones.
In short, we do this for all the Matthews of the world.
Matthew Schoonover was like many typical kids. He grew up in a loving and supportive family, enjoyed many friendships, and loved to play baseball.
Matt was involved with his youth group, played baseball and soccer for and graduated from Worthington Christian High School, attended Kamp Kanakuk in Missouri every summer, worked at the Golf Dome, enjoyed going to the Cleveland Browns games with his family, and loved playing golf with his father.
Matt was outgoing, embraced life, and gave legendary bear hugs.
But, sadly, he wasn’t immune from the disease that took his life when he was 21.
Matt could have been my son or yours. The sad fact is there are many families who know too well what Paul and Ellen Schoonover, Matt’s parents, have gone through. Although Matt came from a middle-class background – even though his family and friends loved him – he started to misuse drugs when he was in high school. Gradually, Matt shifted from partying with drugs to becoming dependent upon them.
At 21, Matt left rehab and one day later fatally overdosed. Matt was a victim of the opiate crisis. Our children — whether they come from suburban families, urban neighborhoods, or rural communities — are OUR children. They are each susceptible to the disease of addiction that grips our nation and our state. But together, we can bring an end to addiction.
Together, we can educate the community about prevention, empower youth and their parents to prevent drug use, and advocate for policies that create a supportive environment where families thrive.
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