Matthew Church

Before he was even out of high school, Matthew Church was involved in the community, serving twice as a site coordinator during the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, organizing a team of volunteers at Cottonwood Island Park.

Meanwhile, he was the top academic student in his grade during his last three years at Duchess Park.

When he graduated from the French Immersion program in 2005, he received the Principal's Cup for top overall student, along with the Canada Millennium Scholarship and the BC Premier's Excel­lence Award, presented to just 15 students each year.

While still at Duchess Park, he showed his athleticism by completing two marathons and was ranked third in the province after the 2005 Vancouver International Marathon.

Recognizing his potential, UNBC presented Matthew with a Leadership Award and offered him its Scholar's Award, waiving his tuition during his career at our local university.

He also became the youngest-ever trustee appointed to the Prince George Public Library board, where he served for four years. As the library board's vice-chair during 2008 and 2009, Matthew helped present the library's budget to city council. He founded the library's youth advisory board and continues to mentor this group of local secondary students that help with library activities and offer feedback on library initiatives.

Matthew also sits on the board of the Prince George Road Runners running club. He has coordinated the club's annual Heights Fiver race since 2008 and was named president of the club this past April.

He continues to judge elementary and secondary school science fair projects completed by French students at the Central Interior Science Exhibition, a task he began in 2006.

Matthew volunteered at the hospital in his senior years of high school and for the past two years, he has served as the coordinator of the hospital's Junior Volunteer program.

He served for two years on the Mayor's Committee on Youth and was a recipient of the City of Prince George's Outstanding Community Service Award earlier this year.

Around his volunteer work, Matthew maintained a nearly perfect academic re­cord to acquire his Bachelor of Science degree. He worked as a research assistant in UNBC's School of Business and was a tutorial and laboratory instructor in the Chemistry Department while completing his studies. Not bad for a 24-year-old.

A role model for young and old, Matthew Church is an excellent nominee for the 2011 Citizen of the Year.

Published by The Prince George Citizen October 3rd, 2011

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