Penticton Rotary picks first student of the month for 2020/21

Rotary student of the month

The Rotary Club of Penticton Sunrise is pleased to launch Student of the Month for academic year 2020-21. Matthew Broder, a charismatic, talented and mature Grade 12 student at Penticton Secondary School, has been chosen as SOM for October.

Born and raised in Penticton, Broder is part of a tightly knit, highly active family in which exercise and love of the outdoors are integral to pursuing a healthy, well-balanced lifestyle. Considerate, engaging and selfless, Broder has been well-schooled at home in core life skills crucial to success.

A self-proclaimed social butterfly, Broder derives his greatest joy from working as part of a team to achieve a common goal and seizes every opportunity to guide and encourage others to reach their full potential. It is this highly effective leadership quality that sets him apart and, along with notable achievements in athletics and scholastics, underlies his SOM recognition.

Last December he helped organise the annual Toys for Tots to Teens community charity drive in which Pen High served as the sole drop off site. This leadership role called for considerable organization, planning and execution on his part and he pulled it off without a hitch.

This coming month Broder will be the school coordinator for the annual Remembrance Day Ceremony, a logistically difficult task during these COVID-19 times. Matthew views the Ceremony, as “an opportunity to pay homage to our country’s sacrifices in two horrific conflicts to preserve the freedom we often take for granted today.”

Pen High vice-principal Sandra Richardson said “Matthew is a natural team-builder with exemplary communication skills.  He is enthusiastic in all his undertakings and works diligently to ensure the success of others while fostering school spirit.”

Broder is a superb cross-country skier, placing 5th in a field of 14 racers at the BC XC Championships this past season. This strong finish was particularly gratifying, given the injuries and suboptimal training conditions that plagued him earlier in the season.

Cross-country skiing has been an important part of his life, dating back to his earliest memories of family ski weekends.  During the ski season, he trains and coaches junior racers at Nickle Plate Nordic Centre 3-4 days a week. To him, “skiing is a welcome therapeutic escape from everyday stresses and a training routine to keep both my body and mind in shape.”

“Matthew’s work ethic, determination and sound moral compass set the bar high for others,” said Chris Garwah, head coach, Nickle Plate Nordic Racers.  He exudes confidence and bestows this gift to others by freely sharing his insight and knowledge. He genuinely enjoys people and takes great interest in their well-being.  These endearing qualities allow him to celebrate the accomplishments of others as proudly as he does his own.”   

A versatile athlete, Broder also excels in volleyball, having played on the Pen High senior boys team that placed 10th at the AAA Volleyball Provincials last year. To him, this finish was a remarkable triumph in which they gelled as a team under intense tournament pressure and proved full value as a wild card entry.

Despite his taxing extracurricular activities, Broder has consistently excelled academically. He achieved a GPA of 92% last year while carrying a heavy study load, including four science courses and university-level AP English. As a French Immersion student, he also went on a 3-month exchange to France. The experience proved richly rewarding, as to both cultural enrichment and personal development.

Pen High science teacher Scott Harkness said “Matthew is one of our top students. His energetic and thoughtful approach toward learning is contagious. He consistently probes beyond basic concepts to acquire a deeper understanding. His genuine desire to learn serves him well in the rigorous AP Biology course.”

During quiet moments, Broder, thanks to his mother’s influence, loves cooking for family and friends. He is also an avid cyclist, both mountain and road biking, as well as an amateur photographer who loves to document his backcountry adventures with his dog, Swix.

Upon graduation, Broder plans to attend UBC to study forestry and environmental management and then law to eventually pursue a career in environmental law. This attractive training path portends an exciting and rewarding legal career in addressing one of the greatest global challenges of our times -- protection of our natural environment from catastrophic global warming. This exceptional young man will surely leave an indelible mark along the way.

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