Saturday, May 11, 2002
Student always helps
Lakota West senior active in peer counselor group
By Janet C. Wetzel
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.
Megan Mathie, a senior at Lakota West, works with sixth-graders at Heritage Elementary School, where she is a peer counselor.|
(Michael Snyder photo)
| ZOOM |
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. Meanwhile, 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.
Ms. Kelechi said: Her hair was beautiful, long, flowing, healthly. Girls that age are so concerned about their appearance. And for her to make that sacrifice that's pretty special.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to 755-4150.
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