During his four years with Grassroots as an undergrad, Matt was able to take part in the TeamUp Exchange with South Africa, serve on the Leader Team, and represent Grassroots at the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGIU) conference. After graduating from Georgetown in 2013 with a BA in History, Matt is now leading staffing and programming operations at TGP as a Program Director. We take some time to speak with Matt and make him go through our trademark Grassroot Q&A.
I spent some time on the Outer Islands of Yap in Micronesia staying with the family of one of my students last year. Absolutely picturesque beach and incredibly simple living.
2.What inspired you about working for a non-profit like Grassroots?
I had no idea it would have such a profound effect on my life when I joined Grassroots as a freshman, but I saw how much the older guys on my team enjoyed it and wanted to be a part of that. I think I’ve had a lot of stressful times doing work for grassroots but at the end of the day its all about having fun to get results, whether thats working with athletes, teaching with kids and even doing stuff in the office.
3.What are you most excited about working with Grassroots?
Seeing us add people whose job it is to grow and increase the quality of our work has been great. I think it will translate it into even more positive experiences for our student-athletes and the opportunity to grow the amount of athletes we work with.
4.Who is your greatest role model, and why?
There’s definitely a lot of people whose work I admire, but in terms of people who I know personally, our founder, T-Spence, would definitely be up there, along with my History Advisor at Georgetown, Professor James Collins. Both have never flinched from doing what they felt a passion for, and they’ve both encouraged me to do the same.
5.Whats your Grassroots nickname?
Matty Boy. Not the best, but after five years I’m not really looking to change it.
6.If you had to give anyone a SHOUT OUT right now, who would it be and why?
Rodders, for promising to “introduce me to the world” with this post. I probably won’t get a triple-double on this though.
7.If you have a favorite sport, what is it and who is your favorite team?
My favorite sport is still probably the one I started playing first, golf. Not the most physical and it certainly doesn’t take as much fitness as rowing, but I’l probably be able to keep playing it until the day I die.
8.Who is your favorite athlete?
Wayne Rooney. Tenacious player and Grassroots supporter. See Picture.
9.If you were stranded on an island and got to bring three people with you, who would you bring?
My uncle Tom, whose a chef and one of the funniest people I know, for the cooking and conversation.One of my Micronesian students, Eunica Yamada, who could husk coconuts, catch fish and carve a canoe for us. And finally a dog. My childhood one has passed, but all of them are man’s best friend.
10. Fun/interesting/random fact about yourself.
Trying to learn Swahili but I’m not doing too well with it. Never been good with languages but hopefully something clicks soon.