Matthew Coffin

Yale University

Matthew has been active in service groups throughout his two years at Yale University, but it is his desire to understand root causes and his dedication to developing socially responsible leaders that is most impressive. Matthew began leading Freshmen-in-Service, a program run through Dwight Hall at Yale, the Center for Public Service and Social Justice, after experiencing the value of the program as a participant. As a leader of the program, Matthew mentors 20 service minded students by partnering regularly with community agencies, engaging in dialogue on how Yale students can build meaningful relationships with their host city, and participating in responsible service. The immediate impact of his work can be seen as many of these students have taken on service leadership positions in their second semester, ensuring that Yale University students continue to see the importance of community engagement. This semester, Matthew has become Co-Coordinator of the Dwight Hall Student Executive Committee that manages and oversees more than 80 student service organizations. Matthew will continue to be a positive force committed to enacting social change for a better future far beyond his time on campus.

Peter Salovey
President and Chris Argyris Professor of Psychology
Yale University

Personal Statement

Public service has been an integral component of my identity for most of my life. When I arrived on Yale's campus, I immediately began exploring multiple venues for community service and found my home within New Haven. In my sophomore year, I transitioned from participating in community service to becoming a service leader. Through service, I constantly explore the relationship between Yale and New Haven, and I passionately believe in promoting responsible, collaborative, and effective service. For example, in my freshman year I participated in a program called Freshmen-in-Service, organized by Yale's umbrella service organization, Dwight Hall, and it allowed me to work with myriad New Haven non-profits and learn from incredible community leaders. As a sophomore, I returned to this program as its coordinator, helping me understand how Yale students need to expand the services we offer non-profits. To effectively advocate for these changes, I became the Co-Coordinator of Dwight Hall, which facilitates service experiences for over 3,000 students each year; among many other initiative, I will be doubling the size of Freshmen-in-Service next year to not only help New Haven non-profits, but also to allow students to thoroughly understand our community and make effective change.

Matthew Coffin
Psychology and History Double Major: Class of 2019
written 2017

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