Hoopa Student Becomes 2013 Gates Millennium Scholar

Hoopa Valley High School senior Manuel Mattz is a 2013 Gates Millennium Scholar, and will study biochemistry and play football at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon./Photo by Kristan Korns, Two Rivers Tribune

By KRISTAN KORNS, Two Rivers Tribune

Hoopa Valley High School Senior Manuel Mattz recently learned he was selected as one of 1,000 students nationwide to earn the prestigious 2013 Gates Millennium Scholars scholarship.

“My mom brought in the mail and we all celebrated,” Mattz said.

The Gates Millennium Scholars Program is funded by a $1 billion grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The program funds scholarships for 1,000 students a year from across the country, and also helps with academic support and leadership training.

“It pays for everything academically-related that I might need all the way through PhD studies,” Mattz said.

Mattz maintained a 3.8 Grade Point Average (GPA) in high school, and was in the California Scholastic Federation, the physics club, bible club and the radio club.

He was also a member of the Associated Student Body (ASB), on the yearbook staff, and was elected prom king during the junior-senior prom this year.

Hoopa math teacher Gabe Dougherty said, “Manuel Mattz is the best student I’ve ever had. What makes him the best is his work ethic; he does what it takes to get a good grade.”

Mattz applied and was accepted to both University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and UC Berkeley, but decided to go to Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon.

Lewis & Clark is a private arts and sciences college, with around 2,000 students from all over the world. Mattz plans to major in biochemistry.

“I really like biology and chemistry, and it’s a good way to get into medical school,” Mattz said.

But he won’t just be hitting the books in college; he’ll put his three years of Hoopa football experience to good use and hit the football field at Lewis & Clark too.

Hoopa Line Coach Jeff Landry said, “He puts 100 percent into everything he does. I’m sure he’ll do extremely well in college, and I think his best football is ahead of him.”

Mattz hopes to come back to the area after he finishes medical school.

“I’d like to practice medicine here in Humboldt County; maybe even over at K’ima:w Medical Center,” Mattz said.

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