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Fox Lane’s Matthew Krasnow Named a 2023 Coca-Cola Scholar

Matthew KrasnowFox Lane High School’s Matthew Krasnow is one of 150 students in the United States to be named a 2023 Coca-Cola Scholar.

More than 91,000 students applied for this prestigious honor. Finalists were chosen based on academic excellence, leadership and service demonstrated in both school and community activities as well an interview with a committee of Scholar alumni and staff. Each of the 150 Coca-Cola Scholars will receive a $20,000 scholarship, join an impressive alumni network, and go to Atlanta for the 35th annual Coca-Cola Scholars Banquet and the Leadership Development Institute.

According to the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, “A Coca-Cola Scholar not only exemplifies superior leadership, service, and academics — they are change agents, positively affecting others in their community. Less than 1/6 of 1% of applicants are selected for this extremely competitive award.”

Matt’s school counselor, Jennifer Hickey, has no doubt that he fits right in with such a distinguished group.

“Matt is a top student, researcher, firefighter and three-season athlete. He does it all and is never daunted by a challenge – in fact he thrives on them,” Hickey said. “A true life-long learner, Matt’s passion for academics – namely science – has extended well beyond the classroom walls. His goals and aspirations are high, yet clear and achievable. He will be a leader at any college or university lucky enough to have him. I am certain of one thing: Matt Krasnow will change the world one day.”

We spoke with Matt to learn a little more about him and the Coca-Cola Scholars Program process.

How did it feel when you learned you had won?

Each selection round was pretty nerve-wracking — the chances of advancing were so low. I was so relieved when I received it. Beyond relief, I was proud. I looked at the scholar bios from last year and was in awe of some of the most accomplished high school seniors in the US.

Who is the first person you called?

I learned that I won while I was in physics class and immediately texted my family group chat. They have been with me throughout the entire process and were extremely excited for me.

What was the process for this scholarship like?

The application process consisted of several rounds of decisions. The first round was very similar to the Common Application — listing my academics, test scores, school activities and extracurriculars. After being selected as a semifinalist, I completed an additional, more thorough application with several essays. As a Regional Finalist, I completed a virtual panel interview as the final selection criterion.

Are there any perks to being a winner that you are most looking forward to?

The Coca-Cola Scholarship comes with a robust network and alumni connections. I’m thrilled for the annual Coke Scholars Banquet in April where I’ll travel to Atlanta to meet the other scholars, alumni and program sponsors.

What do you think helped you get to this level of academic success?

Believing in myself. I never let myself be intimidated by schoolwork or a rigorous course load. I had faith that I would learn to study more, study more efficiently and balance extracurriculars with school. With confidence in my capabilities, I consistently improved academically throughout high school.

Are you involved in any clubs, sports, or community groups?

At Fox Lane, I'm co-captain of the track team, having run since freshman year. I'm an active member of the Fox Lane First Responders Club (which meets on Wednesdays, and everyone should come). I am also the co-president of Science Olympiad and will compete at the state competition in March.

Outside of school, I pursue my interests in medicine as an emergency medical technician and firefighter at the Bedford Fire Department. I also do medical research with New York Medical College in pediatric endocrinology, where I published a paper as the lead author.

It is early still, but do you have any hopes or plans for next year?

I don't know where I'll be going to college yet, but I plan to study biochemistry and computer science. Wherever I go, I plan to continue my medical research and work as an EMT. I plan to be on the pre-med track.

Do you have a favorite class and/or teacher?

This year, my favorite class is AP Physics. Mr. Ludwig creates a fantastic blend of intense learning and fun in the classroom. I see physics as a super fun way to apply math to the real world. Although I miss my computer science and biology classes from last year, Mr. Ludwig has instilled an unexpected love of physics in me.

Do you have any advice for other students?

It is very easy to get caught in the mindset of "doing things for college," so try to focus on your real interests. When you enjoy what you do, it doesn't feel like work. Also, take time to relax. You do your best work when you're happy.