Matthew Rivera, also known as MattWithADream, Executive Director of The Dream Support Network, was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. His journey in the City of Hartford, CT began in 2016 as he enrolled at Trinity College as a sociology major. Matthew is the first in his family to attend and graduate from college and is a part of the class of 2020. While at Trinity, Matthew served as Co-President, for three years, of the Men of Color Alliance. Men of Color Alliance is a student organization on campus that seeks to empower men of color to graduate in 4 years and have a safe space to discuss issues they face both on campus and in the world.
During his tenure, he was committed to leaving an impact in the greater Hartford, CT community. Matthew has partnered with various churches, nonprofits, schools, and community leaders to facilitate events and programming. Some of these programs are, volunteering at his Church, Union Baptist Church, to conduct Food Share, giving fresh groceries to members of the community. Matthew is also a mentor for BSL Educational Foundation’s Alpha Beautillion program, a 10 month program that prepares male high school seniors for their transition into college where they learn skills such as college readiness and professional etiquette. For his work in the community, Matthew has been awarded the Bantam Community Service Award at Trinity College and is a Newman Civic Fellow. Matthew has run for Public Office in the City of Hartford as Constable on State Rep. Brandon McGee’s Mayoral slate.
This summer of 2020, Matthew served as Program Manager of Creative Media Design Academy, a 10 week virtual program via Zoom, that served 22 students of greater Hartford as they were provided Adobe Creative Cloud licenses, mentored by college students, and learned photography, videography, and graphic design, by trained professionals, to be equipped with the necessary skills to positively express themselves via social media. In addition, Matthew led a five week program with Blue Hills Civic Association where he taught a group of 20 students dream chasing, networking, and the art of public speaking.
Through the Dream Support Network, Matthew has worked with over 25 schools in greater Hartford, delivered over 75 speeches, and exchanged over 35,000 ice creams for dreams. Matthew is a motivational speaker by nature and enjoys sharing insight and perspective that he’s gathered on his journey. To book MattWithADream for a motivational speech, workshop or Ice Cream for a Dream, click here.