In January 2017, the Walgren family was forever changed when their 16-year-old son Corey took his own life after being questioned by a Naperville North school resource officer and dean without parents present.
The Walgrens have turned the tragedy into something positive in memory of their son – a charity called Corey’s Goal.
“Obviously Corey was a hockey player and really loved hockey and it’s really a play on words obviously with the ‘goal’ and the logo is kind of an abstract hockey net, but [hockey] is not our main focus,” said Maureen Walgren. “It’s scholarship and support of local hockey programs but it’s also to raise awareness of the constitutional rights of minors.”
Maureen and Doug Walgren founded Corey’s Goal with those two missions in mind – to start a hockey scholarship program for students who share their son’s passion for the sport, and more importantly, to spread awareness about the constitutional rights of students during disciplinary practices at school.
“So we’re very hopeful we can get this message out everywhere to the administrators of the schools, to the police, to the parents, to the kids, that this is an important topic and it needs to be looked at and it needs to be looked at thoroughly,” explained Doug.
Having gained many supporters in the last few months, Corey’s Goal raises awareness for even more than just its mission.
“The other thing that has really come to light is this term ‘impulsive suicide’ because Corey was not a child who was suicidal, and so we never would have saw this coming,” said Maureen. “What this has really brought attention to is that impulsive suicide can happen to any teenage who’s being put in a position where they’re scared, and administrators need to be aware of that, administrators need to take precautions and recognize that it can happen.”
The charity’s website links to dozens of articles and information for students, parents, and administrators about these topics.
The nonprofit has filed for 501c3 status and is currently waiting on that approval.
“Things have really taken off really quickly and we’re excited about that,” added Maureen. “It gives us a good thing to focus on with our grief and turning our grief into something positive in his memory that the whole family can get behind and carry on his legacy.”
Corey’s Goal will put on its first major fundraiser of the year, Corey’s Super Goal Party, on February 4 and information about registration can be found on their website.
A team effort that carries on Corey’s legacy with a life-changing goal.
Naperville News 17’s Christine Lena reports.
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