April 16, 2014

Top Grads

Class Acts

Among the cream of this year's graduating class are students who have succeeded both academically and outside the classroom.

Diane Sears | 3/1/2006

KIDS CAUSE: empowering kids at the Spring Hill Boys & Girls Club in DeLand.
Matt Morton, 21
Stetson University

Major: Political science, minor in Spanish.

Notable: In high school, was part of a group of Pinellas County youths who raised more than $1 million to create four teen centers. Presented keynote speech about the experience at age 17 for the White House's first National Youth Summit. Serves as vice chair of the National Council on Youth Policy. With other Stetson students and the Boys & Girls Club, developed a youth empowerment program for the disadvantaged community of Spring Hill, helped create Youth As Resources foundation operated by young people who award grants to their peers, and helped Stetson join the Bonner Foundation philanthropy program, which he leads as the university's Bonner Senior Intern. Worked for Sen. Bill Nelson as intern and congressional fellow. Serves as youth advocacy coordinator for Southeastern Network of Youth & Family Services, which covers eight states and 80 membership agencies. Served as philanthropy chair for Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity. Runs cross-country and sky-dives.

Plans: Graduate school for dual master's in social service administration and public policy or an MBA in public policy. Plans to take off school for two years after graduation to continue his work setting up youth empowerment programs in Guatemala and to co-write a book about the international youth empowerment movement.

Tags: Around Florida, Education

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