Alex was a straight 'A' honors student in high school, making high honor roll every marking period in his high school's most rigorous classes. Alex pushed himself academically. Although naturally bright, he never rested on his abilities, and worked diligently on every assignment, even more so after his cancer diagnosis. He was in the Gifted and Talented program during middle school and a recipient of the Presidential Award for Educational Excellence and a Johns Hopkins Talent Search participant. Alex was a first degree Black Belt and a member of USA TaeKwonDo (USAT), the national governing body for the U.S. Olympic Committee. He taught students at his TaeKwonDo Academy and won many awards. Alex was a member of the Navesink River Rowing Varsity Team and always looked forward to being on the glass-like river at dawn. Our Champ was an avid musician, playing the piano since he was 6 years old, picking up his first pair of drum sticks in fifth grade, and was teaching himself the guitar. He could sight read music and went on to become his first place award winning middle school band's drum section leader for two years, and concurrently won a place in the region's All Shore Band as the sole timpanist for both years he was eligible.
Alex was a volunteer at Monmouth Medical Center, where he especially loved delivering flowers to new moms and their babies. He was also a member of his high school's Interact Club, a community service organization. Alex was selected by his oncologist to "teach" two University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine medical students through their LEAPP program. He was followed by these students throughout his illness in order to provide them with insight into a child and family's journey with a chronic illness in order to help make them more compassionate and caring physicians. Alex invited these amazing students into all aspects of his care, and was very candid with them about his journey. He even invited them into his first meeting with the team that talked to him about his upcoming hospice care, selflessly believing that this would become powerful insight for their future as doctors.
Alex's tumor was donated to the Children's Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium, and being 16, Alex was the responsible party for deciding whether to participate in studies that were presented to him over the 19 months that he was ill. Even if it meant more needle sticks, he said yes to every study. He knew that he would be helping children who would be faced with the same diagnosis.
When our family was asked if money could be raised to help us through his cancer battle, Alex asked if it was possible to donate the money for research instead. Although he was a very private and modest boy, and even when the spotlight felt a little uncomfortable, he always agreed to using his name and story so that it might help other children and teens in their struggles against cancer. He has inspired others to give in honor of his selfless nature and spirit. Not only has over $180,000 been donated to research and children's cancer causes in his name, but thousands of Teen Wish List items, instruments for music therapy programs, toys, arts, and crafts have been donated in Alex's honor and memory as well.
Alex was awarded honorary membership into Shore Regional High School's National Honor Society posthumously, based on his strong academics, character, leadership, and history of community service. It was a truly meaningful and beautiful gesture and award that our family was incredibly proud to receive in Alex's memory.
When learning of Alex's recurrence, his community rallied around him and through messages, gifts, visits, and signs on front lawns and store fronts "Team Alex" let the Muñoz family know that we were never alone. Our town even named our street "Champ's Corner" in memory of Alex's legacy and impact he had on uniting our town and highlighting how wonderful our community truly is. "Team Alex's" love and support is something that was so very special to Alex and will remain an enduring gift to our entire family.
The Alexander Muñoz Memorial Scholarship not only celebrates Alex's legacy and honors a senior who demonstrates the qualities and the potential that Alex embodied, but it is an opportunity for the Muñoz family to give back to the community who embraced them during the most anguish-filled moments of their lives. The student who receives this award demonstrates a spirit of giving, leadership, commitment to community service, and academic excellence.
One $5,000 scholarship will be awarded to a graduating senior from SRHS planning on pursuing their education at a two or four year post-secondary institution.
The applicant must be a graduating senior from Shore Regional High School pursuing a two or four year post-secondary education.
The student must have achieved a minimum weighted GPA of a 94 on a 100 point scale; rigor will be a determining factor.
The applicant must demonstrate leadership, community service, and evidence of outstanding character.
Student must submit a completed application by April 30th, 2018..
An official high school transcript must be included with the application.
Two letters of recommendation from a teacher, counselor, coach, or employer must be included.
An essay, topic included on the application, must be submitted.
*The scholarship recipient will be selected by a scholarship selection committee, of which the Muñoz family will be involved, but will not be a majority of the decision making body in accordance with IRS rules.