– BOCA RATON, FLA./DURHAM, N.C.
Lucas Metropulos, 19, lives to fish. And he’s hooking a new generation. As a high schooler in Boca Raton, Fla., he founded an after-school program that teaches underprivileged kids a skill that can feed their families, as well as patience and respect for the environment. And for that, he earned our national award two years ago. Now Metropulos, a freshman at Duke University in Durham, N.C., has cast his net wider: Offshoots of his program, Fishing for Families in Need, are set to open in New Orleans, Martha’s Vineyard and Durham.
For his third Make A Difference Day last fall, Metropulos doubled up. The two teen protégés who run his Boca Raton flagship operation, with eight volunteers, took 18 excited children out to sea. And in Durham, Metropulos and five volunteers treated six adults and a child — economically disadvantaged families, guests at a Ronald McDonald House — to an afternoon of fishing for crappie, bluegill and catfish at Lake Mickie. These families “are stressed out and need some relief,” Metropulos says.
The kids who enjoyed last Make A Difference Day at sea in Boca Raton — like Maria Sair, 10, who now wants to be a “fishing teacher” (or veterinarian) — were the latest of more than 120 that Fishing for Families in Need has taught. “I’ve been able to grow because of the support I started receiving from all over the country after receiving your award,” Metropulos says. “Make A Difference Day gave my program credibility.”
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