Helping young people gain the business skills and knowledge necessary to build a thriving economy helps everyone. “Entrepreneurs are the cornerstone of a thriving economy,” said Matt. “Giving students the opportunity early to see the benefits, along with the hard work that goes into running a business, is a tremendous motivator for them to stay focused on their education.”
Matt is driven by helping young people, especially those living in lower income communities, embrace opportunities to learn about finances and the importance of staying in school, saving money and being responsible. Matt shares his banking experiences as a JA volunteer each year with hundreds of elementary, middle and high school students. As the chair for the Youth and Education division of the Bank of America Community Volunteer group the past three years, Matt has led multiple Merrill Lynch/Bank of America JA projects, engaging over 50 associates each year in JA in a Days, JA Finance Park and JA Stock Market Challenge.
Matt most values students’ eagerness to learn and is energized when he sees that ‘light bulb’ moment. “It’s wonderful to see students understand a concept that you are teaching,” said Matt. “They raise their hand, state the correct answer and I see their smile when I tell them ‘exactly right!’” Matt also enjoys receiving thank you cards and letters from students who share how much fun they had and what they learned through his volunteer efforts.
Matt and his colleagues’ volunteerism is encouraged by Bank of America/Merrill Lynch’s local community efforts – working to connect communities to better economic futures by responding to fundamental issues related to jobs, housing and basic human services. Junior Achievement is a prominent partner, providing a long-term solution to build economic self-sufficiency. Bank of America is this year’s Title Sponsor to the Junior Achievement Golf Classic in June that will raise money so that more students can participate in JA programs this year at no charge.