Nicholas Metropulos, 19, leads Fishing for Families in Need, a nonprofit organization founded by his brother more than a decade ago. The organization teaches children about the environment and responsible angling. As the name suggests, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit also provides fish to hungry families.
Interview with Nicholas Metropulos, the Executive Director of Fishing for Families in Need.
The following is the pre-interview with Nicholas Metropulos. Be sure to watch the recorded interview above.
For-profit/Nonprofit: 501(c)3 Nonprofit
Revenue model: F4FN receives funding primarily from private donations and grants. All of our programs are free to the communities that we serve. To increase our revenue sources, in January 2019 we will be launching an apparel line via an e-commerce partnership with SA Fishing Company (https://safishing.com/).
Scale: Since 2007, Fishing for Families in Need has educated over 2,000 children in its Responsible Angling Education program, provided over 3,050 hot meals of fresh fish to various soup kitchens through the Fishing Tournament Donation program, and recruited over 650 local high school and college-age volunteers. The organization’s impact has been further validated over the years from receiving numerous accolades for an innovative approach to marine science/conservation education such as the 2012 USA Weekend National Make a Difference Day Award, 1st place in the Education and Literacy category of The National Jefferson Awards, and our Founder receiving the 2013 SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Environmental Educator of the Year Award. Currently, F4FN’s annual operating budget is $75,000 with programs running 6 cities and 3 distinct countries. Each program costs $5,000 to operate for an 8-week period, and every program takes place 3 times per year (depending upon the location). F4FN has one paid employee; however, his salary is completely funded by the Board of Directors. Thus, 100% of outside donations go to programming expenses.
What is the problem you solve and how do you solve it?
Environmental education (EE) within primary, secondary, and collegiate institutions remains insufficient to this day. According to the Campaign for Environmental Literacy organization, the federal government spends less than 48 cents annually per capita on environmental literacy, of which a mere 20 cents per person is used towards environmental education. However, Fishing for Families in Need and other community nonprofits have been and are working together to educate the next generation of environmental stewards. F4FN’s immersive programs create hundreds of responsible youth anglers, provide amazing volunteer opportunities for the community, and positively impact local marine and freshwater ecosystems. Our intent is to enhance these children’s lives by imparting on them skills and knowledge that will help them surmount obstacles and will empower them in their daily lives while also creating young responsible anglers who recognize the need to safeguard and preserve our marine ecosystems well into the future.
More about Fishing for Families in Need:
Fishing for Families in Need (F4FN) was started using six fishing rods, five hundred dollars, and a desire to make a difference by a local 15-year-old despite many obstacles. F4FN’s purpose is to educate and empower individuals to become responsible anglers through hands-on programs centered on fishing in a more sustainable manner to foster widespread community engagement and change. The organization has inspired multiple children to pursue a career path in the marine science/biology fields and motivated others around the country to give back in their respective communities. The children in the classes become strong ambassadors for environmental protection and continue to educate their family and friends long after the classes end. This creates a movement for change in their community focused on marine conservation and better fishing practices.
Nicholas Metropulos’s bio:
Nicholas Metropulos was born and raised in Boca Raton, FL. He is 19 years old and a sophomore in the Management & Leadership Program at Hellenic College in Brookline, MA. He is an avid freediver and spear fisherman and has an unresting passion for ocean conservation. Nicholas is the Executive Director of Fishing for Families in Need (F4FN), whose purpose is to educate and empower individuals to become responsible anglers through hands-on programs centered on fishing in a more sustainable manner to foster widespread community engagement and change.
At the young age of 16, Nicholas took over the Executive Director position at F4FN and has since raised over $175,000 from foundations, crowdfunding campaigns, and major donors. He has expanded the organization’s operations to three additional sites while directing programs in each of the locations (Miami, FL/ Abaco, Bahamas, St. John, VI). Since 2015, Nicholas has taught weekly seminars to over 600 children and has coordinated and managed over 250 volunteers. Additionally, he led the organization to the final round of a $100,000 grant competition in the Environmental category from the Impact 100 Palm Beach County in 2018.
Nicholas has received numerous accolades for his philanthropic efforts including Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes, President’s Volunteer Service Award, Daily Point of Light Award, Men with a Caring Heart Award, Children’s Environmental Health Network Youth Leadership Award, Disney Friends for Change, and the Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarship. Nicholas plans to finish his undergraduate years receiving a degree in Nonprofit Management at Hellenic College, and afterwards pursuing an MBA at Harvard University to further strengthen and expand the reach and success of Fishing for Families in Need.