Today's spotlight feature is 2018 corps member Matthew Picon! Matthew is a senior currently studying Sports Management. Next fall, he will be teaching in Oakland, California. On the UT campus, Matthew has been involved with the Texas Cowboys and Texas Sigma Alpha Mu!
Matthew first learned about Teach for America while he was a freshman at UT. "I was always interested in Teach for America because I wasn’t always the best student growing up. Luckily, I had a personal mentor who taught me in high school and helped pave my path. It made me want to be that person myself." While at UT, he interacted with all kinds of people that opened his eyes to different situations that students faced while growing up. "I met people all over the state and the country and learn about their background and their experience in school. I only had one experience growing up, so it was cool hearing from others."
As someone passionate about sports, Matthew is interested in seeing how he can meld his two interests. This past summer, he worked with an organization called Harlem RBI, where he taught reading comprehension and served as a facilitator for social learning lessons for kids going into 5th and 6th grade. "I’m a sports management major, and working with an organization that networked with underprivileged communities was really cool and connect my passion for sports with helping others." He hopes to serve as a coach for various sports at the school that he is assigned.
For students who are currently applying or interviewing for Teach for America, Matthew says to "really think about each question and not just put the answer that you want them to hear, give the answer from your heart that’s true to who you are. " For interviews, he learned from others. "I started pretty early and made sure to go through it with others. For each step, I had one step mastered before I went on to other steps. I also used the resources that TFA sent me to know more about the organization's missions."
We're excited to see the impact that Matthew will have in the classroom when he heads out to California next year! Stay tuned for more 2018 Corps Member features each week! If you have any interest in applying, talk to our Recruitment Manager, Jorge Galan. He can be reached at Jorge.Galan@teachforamerica.org.