This post originally appeared in the Lake Worth High School Alumni Foundation newsletter.
It’s tough enough to excel academically in high school, and even tougher when you’re also a veteran on the football team. But tough situations don’t intimidate recent Lake Worth Community High School graduate Matthew Narcisse.
Narcisse earned a 4.18 HPA while playing on the Trojans football team all four years. He’s also been involved with the wrestling and weightlifting teams, Air Force JROTC, the Drafting and Design Academy and the Interact Club, among other activities. During a recent summer, he was chosen to attend a Rotary Youth Leadership Camp.
Unlike many of his classmates, however, he has responsibilities that continue beyond the school day. He is a caregiver for his mother, who survived a debilitating stroke in 2012.
“One thing I’ve learned is how to sacrifice and how to manage my time,” said Narcisse, who has four brothers and two sisters, plus an extended family in Haiti.
He also has endured his own health challenges. As a child, he suffered a broken femur in a car accident. The injury affects his running ability even today. As an athlete, “I always push myself,” he said.
Off the playing field, Narcisse aspires to be a civil engineer. “What civil engineers do is they help build communities,” he said.
To achieve his goal, he’s spent the past four years in the Johnson Scholars/Take Stock in Children Palm Beach County program. This college readiness program, which includes the opportunity to meet regularly with a mentor, offers participants a chance to graduate with a two-year college scholarship. The program is a collaboration between the Johnson Scholarship Foundation, Take Stock in Children and the School District of Palm Beach County.
His hard work and diligence have not gone unnoticed. Narcisse was his school’s nominee for Take Stock in Children’s 2019 Leaders for Life Fellowship, an honor awarded to only a handful of students in Florida (this year Glades Central Community High School graduate Marie Sintulaire was named a Leaders for Life Fellow). One of his teachers wrote a letter on his behalf that reads, in part, “It is rare that I meet a student with the drive, resiliency and verbal abilities to self-advocate as Matthew Narcisse.”
He also was chosen to speak to his fellow graduates at the Johnson Scholars/Take Stock graduation event in May. In attendance for the event was Narcisse’s mentor, Pat Growney.
This fall, Narcisse will study civil engineering at the University of Florida. He has been chosen for the Machen Florida Opportunity Scholars, a nationally recognized program for first-generation college students.
“My life situations have empowered me,” he said. “When I face adversity in the future, I will just persevere and stay faithful.”