011. Meet Matthew Coleman

Matthew Coleman joined Librii as our Programs Manager for the summer of 2016.  Here is a short interview introducing him.

David and Matthew

David and Matthew

I AM...

I am an African American male, who is eighteen years of age and I will be a sophomore at Livingstone College in the fall of 2016. I am currently studying business administration.

IN 5 YEARS, I WILL BE...

I'll be in the mist of Yale's School of Management Silver Scholarship program. The Silver Scholarship is an opportunity for college seniors to earn an MBA in three years directly after graduation. 

I AM A PRODUCT OF...

I am a product of people giving back. From government-sponsored programs to random acts of kindness. Without them, I would not be the man I am today. I had a lot of fortune come my way ever since my early childhood. Going into my kindergarten year I was select to receive the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship which allowed me to attend private Catholic school until I graduated last spring from Archbishop Carroll High School in Northeast D.C. Throughout my years at private school, I not only received one of the best educations D.C. has to offer, but I was also exposed to several lifestyle changing programs.

During my middle school education I was fortunate enough to be a student of the Living Class Foundation, an after school program inspires, educates, and exposes curving you two different artistic outlets. I learned the basic principles of photography in the program and gained a deep love of the passtime I will never forget. I started exploring my love of photography throughout my freshman year of high school. However, without resources (such as a DSLR camera and a computer with editing software) my progress was not the best. That year a friend from school introduced me to ARTLAB+, an after-school program at the Hirshhorn Museum open to the youth of D.C. ARTLAB+ connects art to people, then gives the knowledge and resources to create your own art. Here , I not only sharpened my skills as a photographer, I also gained work experience. Here I not only sharpened my skills as a photographer and I also gained work experience.

This was not my first time getting a job by government-sponsored program. I received my first, second and third jobs each year in high school (except my senior year) through the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYPE). SYPE is a summer employment program for youths 13-25 to get jobs for the summer. Lastly, I was influenced by the AnBryce Foundation. I have been a part of the foundation since the age of 7, starting with the Camp Dogwood summer camp, and eventually the Saturday Institute. My junior year of high school I joined their Student Adventures in Leadership program. By my senior year I was selected to be a part of their Pillars of Excellence Summer Internship Program. This granted me the opportunity to gain more perspective on non profit work. Last summer I interned at the Kennedy Center office of Development, where got my first glimpse of non profit giving.

This may be a lot but without all of these experiences I would not have been the man I am today with the values I have today.

MY TWO MOST IMPORTANT STRENGTHS ARE...

I believe my two important strengths are my openness to new experiences in my desire to gain knowledge about various subjects. I am very passionate about photography and entrepreneurship. My career decision is to start a company that lasts over a hundred because I was on the truly successful company. I would have never came to that conclusion if I wasn't open to new experiences and didn't desire to know more about entrepreneurship.

THE PERSON WHO HAS HAD THE GREATEST INFLUENCE ON ME IS...

I can not name just one person who HAS influenced me. However, I can name two men who influenced men so much in the same manner. Kirk Wilson and Jevin Hodge HAVE BOTH OPENED my mind and heart to non-profits and giving back. I grew to know both Kirk and Jevin through the AnBryce Foundation during a leadership program AT George Washington University. They both mentored me inside and out of the AnBryce, on both personal and professional issues. HEARING how they were when they WERE my age was truly inspiring. By the age of 18 they both dedicated a great deal of their time to CHARITABLE giving. Kirk started a fundraiser that RAISED over $100,000 for cancer when he was 17. WHEN I heard that, I started to feel a deep desire to be more productive.

Another person I can not forget is Dawn Quill. As a mentor at the Artlab+, she not ONLY educated me in PHOTOGRAPHY, but she helped but my confidence as an entrepreneur. As a beginner PHOTOGRAPHY I was given paid work experience, eventually leading to me being able to purchase my first camera and starting my own business with a friend.