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That’s one Cool Kid

Molly Shore

Matt Fritz is proving it’s cool to be smart.

Matt, a 14-year-old honor student at John Burroughs High School,

was recently selected by ABC7 as one of its “Cool Kids.” The program


recognizes high school students who make a difference in their

community by helping others. A “Cool Kids” segment featuring Matt

will air at 4 p.m. Thursday on Channel 7 and be repeated during the

Sunday’s 9 a.m. newscast.


In addition to being the top-ranked student in a freshman class of

681, Matt has volunteered at the Autry Museum of Western Heritage for

the past three years.

“He goes on his own time on weekends and conducts tours,” said

Henry Alfaro, who hosts the “Cool Kids” show. “I think that’s a real

tribute to the young man.”

Matt said he learned the value of volunteering from his parents,

Dale and Julie Fritz.


“I come from a family of volunteers,” he said. “My mom volunteers

at every single school I go to, and my dad did a lot of volunteerism

at my elementary school. He helped to set up the school computer lab

at Stevenson Elementary.”

When he’s not in school, at home studying or volunteering, Matt is

tutoring middle school students in algebra at Jordan Middle School

where he was a member of the California Junior Scholarship Federation

and served as president of the school’s honor society.


“I think the key word for him is mature,” said Jordan teacher

Ellen Kesler, a former honor society advisor. “I see him achieving a

lot of successes in his life.”

Matt is presently pursuing a new hobby: magic. On a recent trip to

Las Vegas with his parents, he wandered into a magic store and

thought, “Hey, this could be fun.” He said he loves card and coin


“I auditioned for membership at the Magic Castle,” Matt said. “I

didn’t get in, but I’m going to continue trying until I get in or

they’re sick of seeing me.”