As a law student, Matt Barrett interned for the federal public defender’s office for the Eastern District of Missouri. The three-month experience was eye-opening for Matt. The people whose cases he worked on came from a variety of backgrounds and many had dealt with various traumas in their lives.
After learning more about the personal background of these clients, Matt felt a sense of heartbreak from knowing that if – there was a social or financial safety net – along the way those lives may have turned out much differently. Furthermore, the experience taught Matt that organizations like UCAN are crucial in helping provide young people with resources to help them lead – more successful lives. Programs that provide support by way of education, finance and mentorship can truly have a positive impact in the life of a young person. Through attending Jesuit schools he developed a deep appreciation for social justice and wanted to start doing work to align with his convictions.
“I knew a few of the other members of the UCAN Auxiliary Board and had attended a UCAN event at their invitation. Service in some philanthropic mission has always been important to me, but since moving to Chicago after college, I hadn’t made time for it,” said Matt. “After attending the UCAN event and learning more about what UCAN does, I thought it would be a good fit.”
In the future, Matt hopes to volunteer his time to positively affect the lives of children who need a mentor. In regards to his membership on UCAN’s Auxiliary Board, he stated, “I am hoping that participating is a small step towards actively making a difference. Beyond participating in auxiliary board activities, I look forward to volunteering my time in other capacities and supporting UCAN financially so that it can better achieve its goals.”
If you or someone you know is interested in joining the UCAN Auxiliary Board of young professionals, please contact Ann Kniola, associate director of development, at 773-290-5072 or firstname.lastname@example.org.