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State Honoree

Matthew Pohl


Matthew Pohl, 18, of Swampscott, Mass., a senior at Swampscott High School, founded the Teen Outreach Program of Swampscott (TOPS), a school community service club. Matthew started TOPS in the hopes of sharing with his fellow students the joys and benefits of volunteering, something that he has been personally involved with since he was just 11 years old. “I discovered that nothing tangible can replace the smiles, the gratitude that one feels from helping to create a positive change in one’s own community,” said Matthew, who promoted his new club with banners at school, announcements, and press releases to the local papers. Just five months into his project, Matthew recruited more than 100 students to join TOPS, and Rotary International chose to sponsor the group as a Rotary Interact Club, providing valuable financial support. The various activities Matthew has arranged include a snow-shoveling service for the elderly and handicapped, fund-raising projects to benefit cancer patients, regular volunteer trips to area soup kitchens and nursing homes, and a school beautification project.