Remembering Matt

Matt was born in September 1969 in Decatur, Ill., and spent his formative years in Minneapolis. He attended Breck School, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, the University of Minnesota at Minneapolis, and attained his bachelor of science degree from Excelsior College. 

Matt worked for Cuesta College in the Workforce Economic Development Department. He started as job developer for the CalWorks Program in February 2000 mentoring students on welfare as they transitioned back into the workplace. He had a knack for finding the right opportunity for people overcoming life obstacles.

In 2002, Matt initiated a workplace readiness class for underserved, high-risk students throughout the county. By 2007, this program had grown to serve more than 400 youth per year. Matt also directed the Summer Bridge to Success program for 25 graduates of the workplace readiness class.

In 2007, Matt became supervisor of the Independent Living Program, in conjunction with the Department of Social Services, which provides supportive services to foster youth in San Luis Obispo County. His vision was to see all foster youth acquire the skills and resources they need to succeed in life as they leave foster care at the age of 18. Matt had a unique ability to connect with youth, especially those struggling to find their way in life.

In his private life, Matt was passionate about music, politics, literature, and creative writing. Anyone who knew Matt knew how much he enjoyed listening to U2 and The Replacements; reading Harper Lee and Richard Ford; and voting Democratic. And Matt could not have been more articulate about these passions. 

Everyone who knew Matt valued his wit, intelligence and compassion. Above all else, Matt treasured his family and his many friends.

Matt will be deeply missed by his friends at Cuesta and DSS; his ILP staff; the many young people he helped through Cuesta; the countless friends he’s made in Minneapolis, Chicago, California and throughout the country; and his loving mother, brother, sister-in-law, father, maternal grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins.