Matthew Kemp congressional award

Fairport student earns Congressional Award Gold Medal

Fairport High School’s Matthew Kemp, an 11th-grader, has earned the Congressional Award Gold Medal, and will be recognized with the presentation of the Gold Medal in Washington, DC during the 2014 Gold Medal Ceremony, June 19.

The Gold Medal is the highest honor of the United States Congress for young Americans for community service and personal development.

“I would love for people to become aware of this award,” Matt said. “It teaches leadership skills, creativity, appreciation for helping other people and any student can apply for the program. To me, it’s about wanting to give back.”

Over a four-year period, Matthew volunteered more than 550 hours and continues to volunteer as a youth leader in the Fairport community.

“Matt is a truly impressive young man,” said Fairport High School Counselor Teresa Howe. “His benevolence is reflective of just how giving our students are and the positive impact they have in our school and community.”

He has volunteered at the Rochester Museum & Science Center, Rochester Association of Performing Arts, Greater Rochester Repertory Company, the Lions Den Teen Center, Foodlink, the Perinton Community Center, and by serving as a Leadership Asset Facilitator for the District’s Asset Program.

“We commend your willingness to give of yourself to voluntarily help others in the community and your achievements in personal development, physical fitness, and expedition/exploration,” wrote Chairman Paxton K. Baker, of the Congressional Award National Board of Directors, in a letter to Matthew.

Matt said he plans to continue volunteering. Specifically this summer, though, he will be preparing for college auditions. He plans to pursue musical theatre, a passion he has had for most of his childhood.

“My ultimate goal is to be on Broadway,” he said. “I would love to make a living doing what I love to do, and be as creative as I can be.”

Congress established the Congressional Award in 1979 to recognize initiative, service and achievement in young people. For more information, visit

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