In this recurring monthly special, Nonahood News will be featuring those who’ve graduated from Lake Nona High School and will recognize the achievements they’ve made since. Some will have been a part of the first graduating class. Others might have graduated a few years later. Few have stayed in the Lake Nona area, and many have explored the world or are still doing so. Let’s see where life’s journey has taken them so far!
Year Graduated: 2013
Occupation: Critical Care EMT at Nemours
Current Location: St. Cloud, FL
Matt Friedel was part of one of the original families to have lived in the NorthShore at Lake Hart community when he and his family first moved to the Lake Nona area.
“Well, to start off, my family and I moved into Lake Nona in 2001 from Hunters Creek. We wanted a new place and a fresh start in the up-and-coming area to grow as a family. My family still lives in the same house we first moved into in 2001, while I moved away to St. Cloud not too far from my parents about a year ago.”
While a student at Lake Nona High School, Friedel had goals to further his education and continue to play the sport that he loved so much … lacrosse.
“Some of my post-high school goals were to go to college to play lacrosse and get a Bachelor’s in business. I had the goal of obtaining a sports scholarship to play collegiate lacrosse somewhere in the state. Not really knowing what I wanted to do with my life, I kept my options open,” Friedel continued. “One of my main high school goals to play lacrosse at the next level was achieved; I had committed to play lacrosse at Florida Southern University in Lakeland.”
While achieving some of his goals, Friedel began to realize that keeping his options open gave him the luxury to truly discover himself and what he wanted his future to look like. That would mean change and lots of it.
“After high school, I realized I no longer was interested in school. I decided to learn a trade and set my goals on becoming a firefighter. The first step was attending an EMT program, and, I must say, after attending the program, it changed my life. I attended fire standards in 2017 to try and pursue my goal as a firefighter, but as time passed, I realized I no longer wanted to work in the field and be a firefighter,” stated Friedel. “I set myself to a higher standard, and I am currently working with Nemours on the Critical Care Transport Team.”
In the next five years of his life, Friedel sees himself working toward his newly-set goals of returning to school and working toward earning his degree and becoming a police officer. Not only does he hold himself to high standards with his busy career that makes him proud, but his new family contributes to that mentality as well.
Friedel describes how his recent milestones in his life are also his “greatest blessings.” His son, Brantley, was born in November 2017, and he married his best friend, Katie, of three years this past February. With such a busy life, he still enjoys hunting and fishing and hanging out with his friends and family.
Written for current and future Lake Nona alumni by a Lake Nona alumna. Check back in to our June issue to learn about our next Nona graduate(s)!