“Matt Bennett is one of the most powerful, heartfelt speakers you will ever hear in your life," says Manny Scott, the founder and CEO of Ink International.
Matt was born in Compton, California, and as a little boy, he watched helplessly as a stranger shot his father several times. As a young man, he and his family were homeless, living in hotels, and, for years, they slept foot to face, and ate food out of coolers in order to survive. These raw realities caused Matt to struggle academically, earning him a 1.28 grade point average.
However, Matt had a “turn the page" moment when he committed himself to improve his grades and his life. With incredibly hard work, and the loving help of coaches, teachers, and mentors, Matt became a first generation college graduate, obtaining his B.S. in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.
After graduation, he worked for the Los Angeles Country Department of Social Services, and had a 1,200- person caseload, and processed 12-14 new cases a day. On his weekends, he taught life-skills and entrepreneurship to prisoners throughout California. In addition to all that, he mentors several young men who have been involved with the criminal justice system.
As a speaker and accomplished hip-hop artist, Matt has shared the stage with some of the world's most familiar names. Recently, Matt's younger brother, Iyshun, a loving, hard-working young man, was enjoying himself at his neighbor's barbecue when a stranger walked up and opened fire with an assault rifle on the home. Bullets riddled the home and killed Iyshun. This tragedy has been one of the hardest, most heartbreaking events in Matt's life. Refusing to be destroyed by depression and despair, Matt has decided to channel his pain into helping others.
With his contagious optimism, unrelenting vigor, and ceaseless determination, Matt is on a mission to fight darkness with light, despair with hope, and hatred with love. As a mouthpiece for many young people of this generation, Matt is raising his voice to enlighten, inspire, and empower people all over the globe. If you have young people in your school or group who are underperforming, settling for mediocrity, or living beneath their potential, Matt Bennett is your guy.