MHS Eagle Scout Helps Heroes: Matthew Pawlowski Serves his School, Community, Country


Matthew Pawlowski, freshman, helps U.S. troops by collecting donations. Photo submitted by Matthew Pawlowski.

Alex Heraty, Staff Reporter

Achieving the rank of Eagle Scout is an accomplishment that promotes “good conduct, respect for others, and honesty,” according to the official website of Boy Scouts of America, and one MHS Eagle Scout has gone above and beyond in his good deeds toward his school, community and country.

photo submitted by Matthew Pawlowski

Matthew Pawlowski, freshman, achieved Boy Scouts’ highest rank Eagle Scout in October 2016 and proved he is capable of being a leader through the completion of his service project, the final requirement needed to achieve such status.

“I joined scouting to meet new people that are going to have a positive impact on my life,” said Pawlowski.

As a Boy Scout, Pawlowski served as Assistant Patrol Leader and has earned 73 merit badges; only 21 are required for the rank of Eagle Scout. Merit badges signal a scout’s completion of learning such skills as first aid, personal finance and community service.

“I love Boy Scouts because you get to learn skills that you would never learn anywhere else,” said Pawlowski.

Pawlowski showed determination with his Eagle Scout service project that involved sending military care packages to Okinawa, Japan, where they were then distributed to U.S. troops in the Middle East.

“I wanted to do something that would impact a major group of people that was in need,” said Pawlowski. “They desperately needed [supplies] because they were out fighting ISIS and the Taliban,” said Pawlowski.

Community members aided Pawlowski by donating items for the care packages or by purchasing a package to be sent overseas.

With the help of Helping Heroes of America, an organization that aids U.S. troops and veterans, Pawlowski was able to ship the care packages for free.

“Matthew has benefited by gaining wisdom by doing,” said Village Trustee Holly Kim. “Risks, no matter how they end up, come with experience and learning.”

Kim assisted Pawlowski at the “civic tables” section for community organizations at Mundelein Days in July 2016 and helped him partner with Quick Pick, a local business that helped facilitate the project.

“I believe in working smarter, not harder, and partnering with a business means they help with positive advertising in the local community to bring in customers. It’s a win-win,” said Kim.

Pawlowski sent a total of 6,600 items overseas.  These items included food, hygiene and gaming products.

“I hope to help veterans and service members make their lives a little bit better and to give back to them because they truly need it,” said Pawlowski.

Helping Heroes of America inspired Pawlowski to begin the process of starting a new student organization at MHS. The club would be modeled off of Stevenson High School’s Students Helping Soldiers, which provides care packages and letters to troops overseas and hosts school and community events to raise awareness.

“I hope to make people’s life a little better to help families with sons and daughters overseas. When they see that we have this club at Mundelein, they would be happy because it’s building awareness,” said Pawlowski.

As a veteran of the U.S. Army, Krista Alloy, MHS security guard and future club sponsor, believes a club like this is something all schools should have.

“I think it’s great that he has so much heart and desire for those who serve. In this day in age, there’s not a lot of that stuff,” said Alloy. “I think [the club] would bring people closer together and get people to understand what the military is really about.”