Gloucester High School senior Mark Horgan has a busy schedule, even for a high school student.
Horgan has been internationally recognized for public speaking as part of a youth awareness program with the Loyal Order of the Moose — and he is the first Massachusetts student ever to earn the honor since it was first given in 1986.
The program, in which high school students choose a speaking topic so they can address other middle and elementary schools, is an effort to not only better connect the community, but also to confront challenges facing students.
In the competition, dubbed the Moose KidsTalks, Mark came in third place out of 60 students from around the globe, receiving a $5,000 scholarship.
The lifelong Gloucester resident chose the topic of teamwork, a subject in which he is well versed. In addition to making the grade in the classroom, Mark plays center field for the baseball team, runs the 300- and 400-meter races for the school’s track team, and captained the football team — where he plays linebacker and wing back.
Even when he’s not playing sports — he’s playing sports.
”I also play volleyball for fun,” he said, the school has a recreational league.
Teamwork has been a major aspect in Mark’s life from a young age. He was just 8 years old when his father died, and said the level of community involvement to help and support his family after his father’s death was enormous. His family had to eventually sell the family’s house and move in with their grandmother.
School officials from coaches to teachers and volunteers have also worked as a team, not just in the youth awareness program, but in all aspects.
School Committee member Val Gilman, who has an abundance of background in public speaking, helped with Mark’s presentation.