Today we’d like to introduce you to Matthew Newman.
Matthew, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My story is simple. On the same day that I was laid off from my first ‘real’ job out of college, I made a decision to join a renowned mentoring organization. Something that was certain was that my life would change, unquestionably. However, it was up to me to decide how it would change.
I met my Little brother almost exactly two months after I was laid off and my life changed for the better. To this day, over ten years later, he does not know the impact that he has had on my life. He has helped to shift my perspective on what it means to mentor. To me, mentorship had always been about ‘checking the boxes’ of life – have ‘this’ conversation, check and have ‘that’ conversation, check – rather than being a constant influence and proponent of positivity, progression, and transparency. In fact, I can honestly say that many mentoring organizations teach the former; they would rather ensure that the mentees stay clear of becoming a part of the ‘statistic’ so that it helps strengthen their narrative to maintain funding. But what if the mentee does not graduate with the rest of his/her class but stayed clear of drugs? Or, what if the mentee does skip class but avoids fighting? How do you ‘properly’ measure impactful mentorship? This is where I saw an opportunity.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Every road in life is ‘under construction.’ Therefore, you will experience ‘pot holes’ that will deflate your confidence. So, no. This has not been a smooth road.
Some of the ‘pot holes,’ or struggles along the way have been those who have blatantly doubted my vision, despite how significant its impact. These are the things that I wish others would have given me the heads up about; maybe I would have navigated differently.
Please tell us about For the Life of You Mentoring Foundation.
The mission of For the Life of You Mentoring Foundation Program is to connect underserved youth with influential youth for a different reality. The mentoring program will pair junior-level high school students, with proven academic success and who are actively involved in extracurricular activities, with incoming freshman-level students to provide motivation, inspiration, college or vocational focused and personal development opportunities for youth. The program uses a dual method model that incorporates one-on-one and group mentoring aspects. For the Life of You Mentoring Foundation Program is structured to bring awareness of self, personal and professional skills, and talents that may be hidden or under-celebrated. The program provides opportunities for youth to develop leadership skills, confidence, and academic support.
In addition, annually, we host a Christmas Bike Giveaway for 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students in East Dallas, Fort Worth, and the Community of Watts in Los Angeles in order to inspire intentional giving, which Jason Cole, CEO of Da Primus Consulting, defines as ‘making caring for others a priority and discipline in your life.’
We aspire to teach the significance of ‘each one teach one’ with every effort of our foundation. Mentorship is not impactful if you are not demonstrating the significance of mentoring to the mentee. Everything you say and do must be intentional.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I celebrate everything that I have done – whether deemed ‘good’ or ‘bad’ – because it has all been impactful. Honestly, I have learned from every move. In fact, if I would have done anything different, I would not be able to share this very story with you.
- Address: 7324 Gaston Avenue STE 124-161 Dallas, TX 75214
- Website: www.FortheLifeofYou.org
- Phone: 972-878-3037
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/forthelifeofyou/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FortheLifeofYou/
Sarai de la Rosa, Friday Films USA, and CBC Productions