Teen says busy schedule will reap benefits in the end

September 20, 2010|By HEATHER LOWERY
  • Matt Koebel said the first time he rode with the Funkstown Volunteer Fire Co., it was nerve-racking, but the South Hagerstown High School senior doesn't seem to break a sweat over juggling several leadership roles.
Lucia Tayo,

Matt Koebel of Funkstown is one high school senior who likes to keep busy.

He's the president of South Hagerstown High School's National Honor Society, president of the Class of 2011, a member of the South High Mock Trial Team, a youth political activist and a volunteer firefighter.

Matt, the son of James and Maureen Koebel, said all of his activities will benefit him in the end.

"I've gained leadership skills from them," he said, speaking of the activities.

As president of the National Honor Society, Matt said he wants to do a lot of fundraisers so that the society can put on a nice banquet and charitable events.

He'll also be fundraising as senior class president.

"I had to run for them both, but as president of the Class of 2011, I plan on doing a lot of fundraisers and then have a senior gift from that," he said.


When he's not leading his class, Matt volunteers as a firefighter for Funkstown Volunteer Fire Co. He has been volunteering his time there for a little more than a year.

"(There are) free college classes in the fire science major, covering the basics of firefighting and hazards," Matt said.

He described his first time riding on the fire truck to an incident as nerve-racking, but he said he was glad that there were experienced members to guide him.

Matt said firefighting has given him a new look on life.

"It's really opened my eyes to appreciate life and it's taught me to be safer in the way I live," he said.

Matt also said he enjoyed volunteering his time working for Sen. Donald Munson.

"It's been really nice working for Sen. Munson. It's opened my eyes up to the political savviness, an I've learned a lot. It has taught me a great deal," he said.

Matt said he plans to major in environmental science at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. He then plans to study environmental law and plans to go to law school.

His experience working on Munson's campaign and his involvement as a member of the South High Mock Trial Team will help him in college, Matt said.

The Mock Trial Team is a team composed of students who are given a case and have to present it from the defense side and from the prosecution side. Matt said the team presented the case 10 times and won at least five of those times.

"We were judged by lawyers, and we had to go into a courtroom and present the case. We learned a lot about the way court goes and courtroom etiquette," Matt said.

His experiences with the Mock Trial Team have left Matt with an appreciation for law.

"It made me love law a lot more than I already did," he said.

Matt said his involvement in school and extracurricular activities have given him the leadership and writing skills he is going to need in college.

"I know I've gotten a lot of leadership out of it, mainly the Mock Trial. I was able to voice opinions and be able to formulate those opinions more through that. I've learned writing styles that I think will help with college applications," he said.

As president of the National Honor Society and of the Class of 2011, Matt said he is learning how to effectively manage.

"I plan to keep things going without stalling throughout the year," he said.

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