Matthew Weale, Skidmore College
Matthew Weale ’16, a mathematics major and computer science minor has shown interest in improving the lives of others since he arrived at Skidmore. As a first-year student, Matthew participated in the Mt. McGregor Prison service-learning project that offered reentry workshops to inmates. He also volunteered with Hudson Link, a non-profit organization that creates prison/college partnerships to offer college coursework to inmates in New York State. Matthew strongly believes that education is the path to reduced recidivism.
Most recently, Matthew tackled two issues that concerned him. Combining his concern for the homeless population in Saratoga Springs with his awareness of the amount of food waste from the dining hall, Matthew found a way to help feed the homeless and reduce food waste. He started a campus club called Feedmore. To date, Feedmore has rescued 950 pounds of food from the dining hall for local soup kitchens.
Matthew has demonstrated the ability to identify and respond to social issues presented to him. His ability to create momentum and support is clear. I am confident he will continue to make his mark in the world as an individual who will impact those who need an opportunity in life.
The Newman Civic Fellowship award directly highlights my continual devotion to serve both my local and global community. Most recently as a student employee of the Skidmore College dining services, I recognized that we were wasting a lot of fresh, edible food that could be diverted to local food-insecure families. As a result of this observation, my friend and I started a new student organization called FeedMore. Although there were numerous challenges in making this straightforward idea a reality, FeedMore has already transferred 1,200 lbs. of food from Skidmore College to several soup kitchens and food pantries in Saratoga Springs in just 12 weeks. This work demonstrates my ability to recognize problems, think creatively, and execute a solution that will directly aid those in need. Furthermore, my involvement with Hudson Link to help transform the United States prison system by educating inmates illustrates my devotion to my global community. In order to create a better world it is imperative that we empower these inmates so they too can create similar changes I have and not allow a sole mistake to define the entirety of their life.