Dunwoody High School, senior
To earn his Eagle rank, the highest in Boy Scouts, Matthew Bieber helped rebuild a trout hatchery at his old elementary school so students could again study the fish.
Matthew has been in Boy Scouts for 12 years, since he was in first grade. Even after many of his friends dropped out, Matthew continued with the organization.
“I stayed because I knew the skills and lessons I learned in scouts would be very valuable in the rest of my life, and wanted to stick with it,” said Matthew. “I like scouts because it is a community. It’s a good bit of fun to just go camping, but the connections you can make and the lessons you learn in scouts are awesome.”
For a community improvement project that was part of his pursuit of the Eagle rank, Matthew reworked the courtyard at Kingsley Charter Elementary in Dunwoody and restored the school’s trout hatchery.
The school had operated the trout hatchery in past years. Fourth graders used it to learn about biology. But in the years since Matthew was in elementary school at Kinglsey, the program had been discontinued because the structure housing the hatchery, made out of metal poles and tarps, kept breaking.
“I felt obligated to build a permanent structure for the project to continue it for fourth graders for years to come,” said Matthew.
Matthew spent hours planning and executing the project and working on the merit badges required for the Eagle rank. He also served as a Troop Guide, helping younger scouts advance in rank. Although he enjoyed the process, he was relieved when he had finally satisfied all of the program’s rigorous demands.
“Building the hatchery was a lot of fun, and when I had finally completed my final Board of Review, where scouting officials judge if I am ready to advance in rank, I was so relieved, but also grateful,” Matthew said. “All of the stressful work was done: I could now spend my time helping younger scouts with no obligation for advancement.”
Matthew is busy with many activities outside of Boy Scouts and school. He participates in the Jewish Student Union, is the secretary and event planner in Dunwoody’s German Club, and this year, with a fellow student, started a Wall Street Investment Club that teaches students about investing, holds stock market simulations and hosts guest speakers. He started the club because of his love for finance, his favorite subject, and is a part of the Academy of Finance at Dunwoody High School. He is also a volunteer assistant teacher at Temple Emanu-El, and has taught Judaic Studies, Hebrew and Holocaust studies.
Matthew wants to major in International Business with a minor in German. He is looking at the University of Wisconsin, University of Michigan, University of Virginia and Tulane University.
This article was reported and written by Catherine Benedict, a senior at The Westminster Schools.