SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KGO) --Valedictorian. Senior class vice president. All-star athlete. Recent Cardinal Newman High School graduate Matthew Payne has accomplished quite a bit in his life. Now he's headed to the University of Pennsylvania in the fall to study nursing and health care management.
"In the future I really do want to become a high leader in a hospital; a CEO of some sort, but to do that a lot of people only become MBAs and they don't really have a background in the medical field so they're running a hospital without a background in the medical field," Matthew said. "What nursing does for me is it gives me the ability to be able to be able to conversate with the people in the hospital. To talk to them. To let them know and understand how a real hospital works."
Matthew comes from a family of dentists. Wanting to give-back to his community, Matthew used that connection to create Project Healthy Child, a student-run organization helping to provide dental care to underprivileged kids in Sonoma County.
"I really see my project not just as searching and trying to help people physically, but also helping the children grow and learn as individuals," Matthew said.
So what does Matthew think it means to you to be an ABC7 Top Scholar?
"I'm really honored to be chosen," he said. "I think that really just my work ethic and everything I've done and not just in the school like working out and doing Project Healthy Child and even my dedication to sport as well. I'm very proud of that."
"He's just a very bright young man; athletically too being able to balance everything with you know academics and playing two varsity sports," one of Matthew's coaches said. "He's been able to do it all you know and do it at a very, very high level. It's quite an honor, but he's definitely deserving of that award."
This is the ninth year for ABC7's Top Scholars program, where ABC7 gives recognition to seven outstanding students, each of whom receives a $1,000 scholarship toward his or her college education. Watch Sunday, July 6 at 10 a.m. to learn more about all of our Top Scholars!