Prestigious BSA Scholarship awarded to TPHS graduates two years in a row


TPHS senior Matthew Depolo was recently awarded the Donald and Marie Belcher Eagle Scout Scholarship for leadership, as well as the Rancho Santa Fe Rotary Scholarship via the Torrey Pines Scholarship Fund. The same awards were presented a year ago to his brother Sean Depolo. Russ Christensen, of the Eagle Scout Alumni Association, said both boys were top in the pool of candidates representing Eagle Scouts from all over San Diego County. The award recognizes what they did both in and out of scouting. Combined, the Depolo boys performed over 1,700 hours of community service during their high school years. Matt and Sean have been Scouts since first and second grade respectively and have earned their Arrows of Light and Eagle Scout Rank. In addition, Matt has gone on to earn two Eagle Palms; bronze and gold with a total of 32 Merit Badges.

Matt and Sean Depolo say they are honored to be recipients of the Rancho Santa Fe Rotary Scholarship for 2014 and 2013. They both say they have fond memories of growing up and going to school at the R. Roger Rowe school. Sean says the experience he had are ones that he would not have had elsewhere and “Rancho is a really great school.” Matt commented how special it was to be in the Honor Guard Flag Ceremony during the July 4 Parade multiple times, helping out at Rancho Days and even having fun directing traffic at the Community Concerts at the Village Church. They are both grateful for all the great things the Rotary does for the Rancho Santa Fe community.

The brothers plan on studying engineering and pursuing a career in the medical field. Matthew will be attending the Henry Samueli School of Engineering at UC Irvine in its bio-medical engineering program and is interested in the field of medicine and prosthetics. Sean, a Regent’s and Chancellor’s Scholar, was in the top 1.5 percent of UC Berkeley freshman admits. A sophomore this coming year, he studies bio-engineering and plans on a career in medicine and heart surgery.

Over the years, both brothers say that Boy Scouts has played a significant role in their lives. Sean says, “Being a Boy Scout has taught me the importance of being an active leader and member of society. One of my most significant memories is when my Scoutmaster, Dan Claxton, told us that it takes a good man to be trustworthy, you can’t just follow blindly, and you can’t just be the smartest person around who isn’t willing to do his part.”

Matt shares his experience in scouting as full of fun activities, campouts and learning experiences, and that, “Scouting has given me core values which drive all my actions in life. I approach any task, always willing, thinking that I will do a good job, do it well, and also do it so that I will be proud of helping others in my life.”

Matt is the president and founder of clubs at his school and played two sports for four years — he is a varsity football player and varsity track and field thrower. Matt has also earned several scholarships from the Past President’s Award from the CSEA, Vista Employees Association Scholarship, a Union Plus Scholarship, and the Global Leadership Connection Ambassador Scholarship.

In addition, Matt and Sean are committed to their community and grateful to the Rancho Santa Fe Rotary, Belcher Scholarship and all that have supported their college and career ambitions. The RSF Boy Scout Troop 766 meets bi-weekly at the Village Presbyterian Church and is led by Scoutmaster Dan Claxton as part of the San Diego Imperial Council.