Troop 761 Eagle Scout John Matter has been selected to represent Virginia to receive the 2018 Billy Michal Student Leadership Award from the National WWII Museum. Matter will travel to New Orleans to receive the award at the 2018 American Spirit Awards Gala on June 8th.
Matter was nominated by Boy Scout Troop 761 Committee Member, Kathleen Quinn, of Ashburn, Virginia. “I nominated John because of his selflessness to his troop and to his community,” Quinn said. “He is very deserving of this honorable award. John represents the values of leadership, teamwork, creativity and perseverance, and quietly demonstrates them in his daily life.”
The Billy Michal Student Leadership Award is given annually to one student from each state who demonstrates the American spirit in his or her community. The values of leadership, teamwork, tolerance, creativity and perseverance can and should be learned and lived by all Americans regardless of age.
During World War II, when six-year-old Billy Michal from Zimmerman, La., helped his one-room school win a statewide scrap-metal collection contest, he understood that every citizen – no matter their age – could contribute to victory in the war. Billy Michal’s example, and the actions of millions of other students on the Homefront during World War II, reminds all that service to country and community helps create active, engaged citizens.
An Eagle Scout, National Honor Society student and varsity athlete, Matter is honored as one of the top student leaders in his school, community and state. But it was his service to others that prompted his nomination. Matter co-captains a team each year in the annual Race for Hope in Washington, D.C. to raise money for brain cancer research, and in 2017, he organized Troop 761 Scouts for “Project Starfish” to collect clothing, household items and money to aid victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.
Stone Bridge High School Principal Matthew Wilburn said, “This is a tremendous honor for John. We are very proud to have him as a representative of Stone Bridge High School. He is definitely deserving of this recognition due to his dedication to Stone Bridge and our community. I have no doubt that when the National WWII Museum created the Billy Michal Student Leadership Award, they had someone like John in mind.”
Upon hearing the exciting news, Matter said, “I am very honored to receive this award on behalf of the state of Virginia. I have been fortunate to have the support of my Scout troop, my school, and my community. I’ve learned a life lesson that leadership is a team effort.”