Matthew Wood

Hometown: San Deigo, CA

high school: University City High School

college: Brown University

MAJOR: Public Health and Portuguese

Infused with African and Latvian blood, Matthew was born is San Diego, California.

With a single mother being his only provider, Matthew learned quickly not to take anything for granted. But because he had fewer resources at his disposal, he sustained an inner hunger to seize as many opportunities as possible. As the years progressed, he learned that he had several differences in comparison to his peers. Some were more visible like his mixed hair, but others went unnoticed, like his strange color vision or his family’s economic standing. But these traits that were once unwanted and despised, later proved to make his perspective and ambition even more unique.

Regardless of where he was, Matthew always had the support and knowledge of a tight knit family. So even when his family encountered problems like substance abuse and depression, he learned the value of communication and forgiveness, and could always rely on them during tough times. This deep connection made him wonder how his father could be so content with being out of the picture, but also gave him a drive to support others in need.

This drive motivated him to pursue many activities, including athletics, the sciences, and community service. He competed in three different varsity sports, dabbled in research, and mentored other students to help with academics and goal setting. But his main passion was his curiosity for the unknown and the challenge of a new project. Matthew thrived when his peers and even his teachers said he could not do something. Barriers and stereotypes became his new opponents, and he was determined to conquer all in his path.

Matthew’s main source of enthusiasm stems from his unwavering positive attitude, and his strong belief in the rewards of hard work. With many negative options in his environment, it took a great amount of determination to blaze his own trail, and not follow into the numerous ways to stop his ambition. Whether it involved keeping his head in the books or moving across the country, he did whatever he could to increase his chances for success.

Following one of his biggest dreams, Matthew will continue his education at Brown University. He plans to study the exciting complexity of the human body and society’s influence on it. And optimistically, will apply this knowledge for further study, and become a health professional who changes the future of disease management and education.

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