2008-12-18 / Front Page

Student focused on good in the world

AHS junior serves community and his peers
BY JENNIFER KOHLHEPP Staff Writer

Mathew Goldberg sees benevolence everywhere and wishes others took more notice of the good that people do.

PHOTOS BY JEFF GRANIT staff Above: Allentown High School junior Mathew Goldberg helps a group of students come up with a poem or skit about drunken driving during a Lifesavers Club meeting at the school Dec. 2. Right: Goldberg conducts the club meeting. PHOTOS BY JEFF GRANIT staff Above: Allentown High School junior Mathew Goldberg helps a group of students come up with a poem or skit about drunken driving during a Lifesavers Club meeting at the school Dec. 2. Right: Goldberg conducts the club meeting. The 17-year-old Allentown High School junior believes in community service. He's an Order of the Arrow and National Honor Society member of the Boy Scouts, who helps out in soup kitchens, community cleanups and the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life. His recent Eagle Scout project refurnished and stocked a food pantry.

"People don't realize how good people are and what people do every day," Mathew said. "If I could be half as good as people who dedicate their lives to community service, I'd be happy. I'd be happy if everyone else gave a little and helped out where they could too."

Mathew also recognizes the importance of serving his peers in school and that's why administrators, teachers and students at Allentown High School recognize him as a leader who goes above and beyond in both academic and extracurricular activities.

A staff member for the National Youth Leadership Training Camp in 2007, Mathew currently serves as president of the school's Lifesavers Club, which is a drug resistance and education group.

"High school students will be more successful if they are drug, alcohol and tobacco free," Mathew said.

Mathew is also the co-founder and vice president of the Latin Honor Society and a member of the National and English Honor Societies. He is also the vice president of Business Academic Services and Education (BASE).

"BASE teaches a lot of different things," he said. "The group holds seminars about what you need to be a leader. It's important to have ethics, good communication and to know how to handle yourself and dress for success."

Mathew said he helped lead the BASE team to second place in an ethics challenge against other area schools last year. He currently serves as a head delegate for the high school's model United Nations and contributes to the Optimist Club, which collects donations of books, glasses and food for the needy. He is also a participant in the Gifted and Talented program and the Academic Team.

The honor roll student is currently writing a fantasy novel in his spare time and has aspirations of going to college to study business or law.

Mathew decided not to wait until after high school graduation to take college-level courses and has attended classes at Duke University in Durham, N.C., and studied abroad in London during the summer last year earning college credits while taking creative writing courses.

His current course load at Allentown High School includes honors and advanced placement courses.

As Mathew takes life by the reigns, he encourages his peers to do the same, noting that people are often capable of more than they give themselves or others give them credit for.

"I used to be in special education," he said, noting that he may do tasks slower than most but accomplishes a lot nonetheless.

Mathew was diagnosed with dyslexia and auditory processing disorder as a child, but vowed to not let that regulate how he would live his life. He willed and worked himself out of special education and now serves as a role model for anyone who believes in themselves and the good in the world.

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