The Miss Mattie Foundation has been established to honor a woman known throughout Southwest Mississippi as one of the kindest, happiest and most beloved people this area has ever known! Of course we’re talking about Miss Mattie Rials! She has touched the lives of so many for well over fifty years now. Young, old and all ages in between have enjoyed being educated and entertained by this wonderful lady. And we should know since our board of directors is made up of Miss Mattie’s granddaughter Sarah Rials Mangrum and three proud graduates of Miss Mattie’s Kindergarten, Class of 1969!
A few years ago as some of our children began to prepare to enter college; we were looking around, scouring the internet for scholarship opportunities for our kids. We found plenty of scholarships and applied to quite a few of those. Some scholarships however were very specific to certain states, certain schools, earmarked for a particular area of study or given to children of employees of specific companies and so on and so on. However, one thing we noticed during all of our research was how many of these scholarships were dedicated to individuals who had impacted a school, a city, a community or were outstanding citizens of their state or region. Immediately, we began to think of our hometown of McComb, MS and the people we felt had impacted our town and area for so long, and deserved to have a scholarship named for them. We could only come up with one name fit that bill, Miss Mattie! Surely there is a scholarship in her name to honor all the good she has done for Pike, Amite and Walthall counties. Certainly, we thought, there is something out there that honors her for all of the children, seniors and disabled people she has given so much of herself to for all of these many years. To our dismay, our search came up empty. There was nothing out there that we could find that honored Miss Mattie’s commitment and love for the children of this area. (Later we discovered a small intermittent scholarship at Southwest Community College) So at that point the idea struck, we should create a foundation that will honor Miss Mattie and provide scholarships for students from Pike, Amite and Walthall counties. We felt the three county area should be our focus because of Miss Mattie’s long term relationship with the Pike, Amite and Walthall Library System. In addition, we wanted to be able to provide resources to other areas of need in the tri-county area that help children and provide educational opportunities they need to make a difference in their lives and enhance their future.
We have set high goals for The Miss Mattie Foundation to not only honor our beloved Miss Mattie, but to help create a more educated community. We hope that you will join us in honoring Miss Mattie and helping out the students in our area that want to pursue their dream of a college education.
Sarah Rials Mangrum, Karen McDonald Treuting, Bill Sheffield and Scott Harbison
The Miss Mattie Foundation