“Joining Club Scouts transformed my life.” Former Rancho Santa Fe student Matthew Deplo recently spoke about his experiences as a Club Scout after winning the program’s top national scholarship.
Matt has been an active Scout since he was six years old, and it is clear that his many years as a Boy Scout have shaped who he is today. Currently a freshman at UC Irvine, Matt is on his way to obtaining a biomedical engineering degree and hopes to travel abroad with a heart surgeon during his junior year. He firmly believes that growing up learning about values, citizenship and community played a large part in who he has become. According to Matt, the teachings and camaraderie provided a great group of friends, and it taught him the value of working together with kids and adults who want to better the lives of others.
The $48,000 Mabel and Lawrence Cooke Academic Scholarship is awarded to one Eagle Scout per year – specifically, to someone who has demonstrated Scouting and Academic Excellence. Deplo received additional awards from the program, including the NESA Belcher Eagle Scholarship, Union Plus, VUSD, and Global Leadership Connection scholarships.
Deplo graduated from Torrey Pines High School, a member of the San Dieguito Union High School District. He recognizes how useful the Boy Scout skills he has learned have been for his future. Deplo’s first quarter engineering lab required designing and building a quad copter as a group project. He had learned from an Eagle Project how to plan and get people to work together. He says even the basic skills are useful to him.
“Whether it’s a cut in the lab or from a game of late night tag, I make sure to have a handy supply of first aid supplies around to assist when someone twists an ankle or gets a cut.” As he said, “I might as well put what I know to good use.”
Matt encourages everyone to consider joining Scouts. Matt was a Scout with the San Diego Imperial Council and Rancho Santa Fe Scout Troop 766.
“It is a journey and a way of doing things that will change how you view yourself in this world. Making a positive contribution to society is foremost. As a Scout, living a life with honor and compassion is a given.”