Matthew Fries First Recipient of the $3,000 Frank Parater National Scholarship
Matthew Fries from Bartlesville, OK has been awarded the first $3,000 Frank Parater Scholarship by the National Catholic Committee on Scouting® (NCCS). He is a member of St. John Before the Latin Gate Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City. This year nine service scholarships totaling $25,000 were awarded nationwide to recognize scouts for outstanding service and leadership in four areas: Church, Community, School and Scouting.
Fries truly embodies the idea of servant leadership. When asked why volunteering is important to him, he responded, “Volunteering is important to me because I have come to experience the invaluable natures of charity or agape love, and the stewardship entrusted to us. I want to share them.” Fries has earned two of the religious emblems offered by the NCCS. He is as an altar server, lector, Youth Group Leader, choir member and mission trip participant.
Fries is passionate about community service. He established the Bartlesville Future Farmers of America (FFA) First Responders Supply Drive when COVID-19 was peaking. Because of his efforts, FFA was able to donate hundreds of pounds of supplies to help the community. He also served on the school district bond committee as a student representative going out into the community to advocate about the $28.5 million bond that eventually passed. Fries has also supported charity events, food banks, homeless shelters, the military and more.
At Bartlesville High School, Fries is a member of Student Council and National Honor Society. He participates in tutoring, STEM Club, BHS Green Environmental Club and Interact Club. He is Vice President of FFA and has been on the Superintendent’s Honor Roll all four years.
In Scouting, Fries has served almost every leadership position from Troop Guide to Senior Patrol Leader. He has served as an Elongomat, a Chapter and Lodge Officer of the Order of the Arrow (OA), BSA’s Honor Society. His OA honors include the Founders Award, Vigil Honor and Distinguished Service Award, Conclave Vice Chief for Training. Fries attended the 2017 National Jamboree, served as Council camp staff and Philmont Scout Ranch Staff. He was also a Crew Leader at both Philmont Scout Ranch and Florida Sea Base.
Fries Eagle Scout Project consisted of updating the entrance and exterior of his parish’s hall which is used by both church and community groups. The project also included adding some safety features and a small garden. Through Go Fund Me and a letter writing campaign, Fries was able to raise more than enough money to complete the project. The extra funds were donated to the church which started a High Adventure Scholarship fund for the local troop.
To be eligible to apply for the NCCS Scholarships, the Scout must be Catholic, earned the Ad Altare Dei and/ or Pope Pius XII Awards, and received either the Eagle Scout, Summit or Quartermaster Award. A complete list of award recipients, eligibility requirements and applications can be found at https://nccs-bsa.org/index.php/college-scholarship. NCCS Scholarship recipients have been chosen because they are committed to making a difference for good in the world through service and leadership. These young people, like Matthew Fries, are certain to enrich our future.