Niagara Catholic Jr./Sr. High School has announced Daniel Aguiar, a senior at Niagara Catholic, is the recipient of the Doug Matteson Courage Award. This honor is given to a student showing courage while overcoming an obstacle. This award, as well as others, is given by the Community Papers of Western New York. Matteson is the first Niagara Catholic student to win an award from this organization.
Niagara Catholic school counselor Natalie Beilein nominated Matteson. Before coming to Niagara Catholic, Matteson lived in Canada. He dropped out of high school after his sophomore year for personal reasons. When Matteson's father remarried and moved to the U.S. the following year, Dan decided to move with him and resume his education in this new environment.
Beilein wrote in her nomination, "Dan exhibited courage when he walked through the front doors of a new high school, with a new family, in a new country in order to give his educational opportunity a second chance. Regardless of adversity, there was never a moment that Dan gave up or let the adversity dictate his choices. He leapt over adversity and continues to charge ahead!"
Matteson was presented with the award Sunday at the 2014 Community Papers of WNY Fall Banquet at Ilio DiPaolo's in Blasdell.