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Matt Mabe, 1998 LSMSA graduate, veteran, to speak at LSMSA commencement on Saturday, May 19, 2018.

NATCHITOCHES — Matt Mabe wanted to challenge himself intellectually and chose to attend the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts to maximize his full academic potential.

"Leaving my family in New Orleans was a difficult choice for me, but going to LSMSA turns out to be the best decision I ever made," said Mabe, a member of the Class of 1998.

Mabe went on to graduate from West Point and served in the U.S. Army through May 2007. He then entered journalism and then nonprofit work. He is director of operations for a new suicide prevention initiative at Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors.

Mabe will return to Natchitoches to serve as guest speaker during LSMSA's 34th commencement ceremony set for 2 p.m. Saturday in Prather Coliseum on the campus of Northwestern State University.