Class of 2015: Yarmouth senior on a mission to reinvent himself

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YARMOUTH — Matt Crowley is all about opportunities.

The Yarmouth High School senior said he learned to take chances and try new things after moving to Yarmouth at the start of his junior year.

“Too often we get used to a daily routine and miss the opportunities that are right around us,” Crowley, 18, said. “It took me moving to Maine to learn that.”

While most teenagers wouldn’t want to switch schools halfway through high school, Crowley, who hails from North Carolina, used it to his advantage. He introduced himself to everyone and then successfully ran for Senior Class president.

“I said, I know I’m the new kid, but sometimes, it’s the new things that are the most fun,” he said.

Doing new things seems to have worked for Crowley. He said one of his proudest accomplishments as president has been reorganizing the Student Council, which he said used to be “all chiefs, no Indians.”

To appease everyone and give each person a role, Crowley formed council committees.

“Once we had those committees, everyone had something to do and felt like they had a chance to be a leader,” he said.

Crowley said this has worked well for all the members, including himself.

“I was able to work with everyone and have them feel like I wasn’t completely in control,” he said. “I think it humbled me.”

Crowley said his two years at YHS have taught him a lot about himself and his desire to strive for more.

“I’ve grown a lot and gained self confidence since coming to Yarmouth,” he said. “It’s come down to, what do I have to lose?”

That question is propelling Crowley toward his next adventure. In July he’ll be leaving for a two-year mission trip for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, also known as the Mormon faith. 

Crowley will be in Santa Rosa, California, where he’ll have to speak Spanish. He said he’s excited for the experience, but knows it won’t be easy.

“I will definitely have a lot to learn there and it’ll be a challenge,” he said. 

He said while being class president has taught him a lot about teamwork, he hopes to learn some other skills by the end of his service in California.

“I think I’ll really know patience,” he said. “Teaching the word of God isn’t easy sometimes.”

Crowley said he’ll miss Maine and his family, but he’s looking forward to meeting new people and hearing their stories. This is also what excites him about college.

Crowley has been accepted to Brigham Young University in Utah, and has deferred his admission to the fall of 2017. He plans to study mechanical engineering and said he also hopes to get a master’s degree.

Crowley acknowledged his story isn’t perfect, though. He said things haven’t always come easily to him and there have been times when he has failed, but he has learned this isn’t always a bad thing.

“I’ve had things in which I haven’t been successful,” Crowley said, “but I’ve worked harder and have come to realize that closed doors mean open doors, and that opportunity is always there, regardless of whether I see it or not.”

Kate Gardner can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or Follow her on Twitter: @katevgardner.

Sidebar Elements

High school senior Matt Crowley worked his way up to class president after moving to Yarmouth as a junior, and is now looking forward to doing two years of mission work before entering college.

Yarmouth High School graduation

Yarmouth High School commencement exercises for the Class of 2015 will be held Sunday, June 7, from 1-3 p.m. in the school gym.

I'm a reporter for The Forecaster covering Freeport, Yarmouth, Chebeague Island, and Cape Elizabeth. I'm from a small town in NH no one's ever heard of. When not reporting, I can be found eating pasta and reading books, often at the same time.