Matthew Pratap

Pathways Student Leadership Cohort Fellow

Hello Everyone! My name is Matthew Pratap (he/him), but I prefer you refer to me as "Matt" since "Matthew" makes me feel like I'm in trouble. I want to help people. I feel like through years of trial and error working jobs ranging from fast food, security, and predominantly finance, one thing that always stuck with me was being able to be a support for someone who needed it. I lived a sheltered life, but when my mom passed away in 2012 I happened to, unfortunately, turn to a life of drug dealing, incarceration, and to be blunt just straight-up hard times, since I lost the rock/foundation of my life. This period of my life was dark/heavy, but I didn't have anyone I could truly confide in! That feeling broke me down. It took a full decade of being incarcerated and feeling like a map without direction, up until I got the opportunity to be the missing thing that I didn't have in my own life when I was walking through those tough times! Yes, I have financial advice and guidance, but beyond that, I just want the best for those entrusted to me! I might not have the answers you need immediately, but best believe I will work and find someone who can answer them no matter what. I'm not the "cookie cutter '' good guy that I feel you'd expect from these positions, but I keep it as honest as I can be without crossing professional boundaries. I promise you I will keep it 100% even if it might not be what you wanna hear sometimes. I am excited to lead, grow, learn, and leverage my lived experience in the first ever Youth Law Center and Rising Scholars’ Statewide Youth Justice Leadership Cohort.