Matt & Dom

Until Dominic, a charismatic & funny junior at North Grand High School, was matched with his mentor, Matt, he hadn’t thought too much about college. In fact, he only thought about it as a way of playing basketball. While it was sports that initially allowed Matt and Dominic to bond, as the year progressed they began to build a stronger relationship that helped Dominic begin to think outside the box about his college aspirations.

What Matt wasn’t prepared for is Dominic’s interest in fashion. When they began talking about Dominic’s options for college in addition to sports, Dominic shared that he wanted to design clothes because “it’s something different and nobody expects that to come from me because they just think I want to play sports.” Matt laughed before realizing that it wasn’t a joke. He quickly connected the dots—it made so much sense for Dominic being the creative thinker that he is. Based on his interests, the pair began to really think about the right schools for Dominic to add to his college list. They actively sought out programs that supported his range of interests: fashion, business, and sports.

In the first year of their match, both Dominic and Matt saw their relationship change. In particular, Matt has seen how much Dominic has grown saying, “I've seen a considerable change in Dominic's focus since we first met. When I met Dom it was all about sports…Today we still talk about his athletic endeavors, but we engage much more on his classes, his hopes and aspirations, and the success he is capable of off the playing field. He's much more realistic about what it takes to get into college and spends more time improving his grades in classes where he was struggling.” Dominic ended junior year on Honor Roll and “is taking school to a whole other level.” He attributes this to Matt's mentorship, saying he "[leads] me the right way, down the right path."

The best part, for both Matt and Dominic, is inspiring and motivating each other, “What keeps me motivated is Dom. He’s got great enthusiasm and he’s someone who always wants to be the best version of himself.” Dominic says that the best part of having Matt is “having someone else there to believe in you.”

Together, Matt and Dominic have forged a deep bond. They look forward to supporting each other as Dominic begins his senior year and takes his next steps toward making his dreams of designing a reality.