Saturday, May 11, 2002

Lakota West teen keeps giving


Senior 'brightens lives' with many gifts

By Janet C. Wetzel
Enquirer contributor

        WEST CHESTER TWP. — Megan Mathie doesn't sit around waiting for people to ask for her help. She just steps up and volunteers.

        The senior at Lakota West High School is a member of the school's Peer Counseling, a group of students who have made a commitment to abstain from drugs, alcohol and tobacco and help others do the same.

        They take their message of abstinence, respect and making good decisions to all the districts' elementary schools through performances.

        Ms. Mathie spends several hours a week in the group's mentoring program and being a director of the group's spring production The Medicine Show, a series of skits promoting their message, which they perform at the elementary schools and even some nursing homes.

        The 18-year-old A student and National Honor Society member was a member of Mu Alpha Beta, a math honors society, for two years; played volleyball three years; and ran track four years and cross-country this year. She was a volunteer tutor for younger students for three years and a coach of seventh-grade girls in volleyball at a church last year.

        Giving of herself is one of Megan's trademarks, said Jill Jepson Kelechi, Lakota's prevention, intervention programs coordinator.

        “She's the type of kid that does things for the right reasons,” Ms. Kelechi said. “She doesn't wait for people to ask for help. She volunteers. She always has a smile.”

        Last year, Ms. Kelechi mentioned her old, ugly, metal desk. Megan, who has loved to paint and draw since childhood and plans to attend Columbus College of Art and Design, spent days at the school painting a colorful mural on the desk. Then she painted cheerful designs on dingy office wallsfor other staff members.

        “That's what she's about. She brightens lives,” Ms. Kelechi said.

        Late last year, the West Chester teen-ager's giving took on a more personal note. She watched in awe as the ginger-colored tresses she had worked years to grow, to nearly hip length, were chopped to shoulder length in seconds.

        Ms. Mathie celebrated reaching a four-year goal — to grow her hair long enough to donate 12 inches of growth to the Locks of Love organization, to be made into a wig for someone who lost hair through chemotherapy or other reasons.

        “It was hard to see all that hair cut off. But it was for such a good cause, it was well worth it,” said Megan, daughter of Roslyn and Norval Mathie.

        Do you know a Hometown Hero — someone in your community dedicated to making it a better place to live and helping others? E-mail Janet Wetzel at jjwetzel@siscom.net or fax to 755-4150.

       



Erpenbeck accused in felony theft case
Real estate laws leave buyers stranded
Jammin' returns as Main event
Speedway more vigilant
Bush brings in $2M for Taft
Police to monitor parties at UC
Reward for tips on missing woman
Schools lose 3 officers after accusations
St. X students rehab house
Tristate A.M. Report
Welfare group criticizes president's reform plan
MCNUTT: Neighborhoods
RADEL: Citizen board Here's your chance to improve city
SAMPLES: Risky business
THOMPSON: Faith Matters
Boy improves after near-drowning
Fireworks are back for the Fourth in Hamilton
- Lakota West teen keeps giving
Man pleads guilty to murder, rape last year
Milford, schools to buy land
Pair, charged in boy's discipline, free on bond
Student always helps
Agency fines local firms after deaths
Black presses O'Connor on campaign rules
Chief cited in coverup is replaced
Equestrian equity goal of new national league
Fake uniforms found after arrest
Five police officers honored
Heavy spring rains threaten to drown corn production
Judge approves $1B deal
Mayor brings teen vandals to justice
Officials stop Athens teens' 'Fight Club'
Put-in-Bay mayor ends uneasy reign
Runaway train called a fluke
Bank also sues auditor for Wilkinson
Kentucky News Briefs
Man charged in church shooting won't face death
National Guard leave state airports today
Pick-up games score points for Murray State president
Serving those who served
Wal-Mart dispute is aired