What made you want to join City Year?
I joined City Year so I could play a role in solving the dropout crisis in Philadelphia and around the United States. I believe that every person has the moral and ethical obligation to serve others if they are able. The population that City Year serves, students on the edge of dropping out, deserve advocates and champions that will work hard to keep them in schools and on track to graduate. I've never met a student who didn't want to learn, just students who didn't know they had that in them!
How do you connect with your students?
To connect with students in such a transitional part in their lives I try to be as open and honest as I am able to be (within reason!). At the end of the day, the students City Year AmeriCorps Members serve are children looking for consistency, warmth, and someone to talk to. I truly believe in the wisdom offered by P.I.T.W. #98 (Bing!) "All people- especially young people- need the same eight things: meaning, adventure, community, power, respect, structure, challenge, and opportunity."
"I've never met a student who didn't want to learn, just students who didn't know they had that in them!"
What advice would you give to future AmeriCorps Members?
Develop a self care routine, make friends outside of City Year, and take time to reflect. You will develop habits while at City Year, make sure they're good ones! Laugh with your fellow City Year members at the bizarre parts of the day, sometimes that's the only way you'll get through it.
What is a unique hobby or pastime that you have?
I have played guitar and bass for about ten years and I have played tennis on and off since I was 5. I played varsity tennis at Strath Haven High School in Wallingford, PA and at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana (Go Fighting Quakers!). Additionally, I am an avid cook, reader, and pet owner.
The work of Matt and his team at Woodrow Wilson Middle School is made possible by Team Sponsor, Comcast NBC10 Telemundo 62. Their afterschool work is made possible by New York Life.