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  • May 29, 2024

    Matthew and his commitment to Human Rights

    Matthew Suderman is a Practicum Student at MARL
    Summer 2024

    Matthew grew up in a once small town in Ontario. He is passionate about the social impact of non-profit organizations and social-focused businesses. His undergrad degree is in business and psychology, and he’s worked for various non-profits in summers. He wants to apply his knowledge at MARL and continue to learn how to improve organizational structures that better and
    move communities forward.


    In grade 5 as a class, we read a book called Iqbal which was about child
    labour. This hit me hard, and I wondered what I could do to help. I quickly found and
    connected with the organization Free the Children. I started raising money for
    different causes through Free the Children as a tween and young teen and was
    passionate about the work. An example of this was the vow of silence where you
    don’t speak for 24 hours in solidarity with those who don’t have a voice, and raise
    money for Free the Children. I also recruited several friends to do this with me.

    I studied business and psychology in university as I thought these would be
    helpful in understanding the world and the ways in which I can affect it. I have
    worked for different non-profits in my various summers as a student that do valuable
    work in the community. These non-profits specifically work with people with
    disabilities and their families. I was excited for this opportunity with MARL as I felt I
    could use and develop my skills in organizational management to help a non-profit
    as a part of a dynamic team.

    To me human rights means that everyone has a chance. We live in a world
    where often governments and prevailing ideologies claim that anyone can make it if
    they work hard etc, but this is often not really the case. The reality is that where
    people are born, and what kinds of families people are born into, are very predictive of
    their opportunities and what kinds of lives people lead. I would like to see a world
    where everyone actually has a chance and where social safety nets exist so that
    poverty simply does not exist. I believe we have the resources in society to
    accomplish these things, it is just a matter of better societal management.

    I think something that is universally true that I continue to learn is the
    importance of being able to work well with people. Basically, independent of field or
    specific work, being able to relate to, get along with, and communicate and
    collaborate effectively with others is crucial. I have been practicing communication
    and teamwork throughout university, in classes but also in various student leadership
    roles, and I think this role provides valuable experience in this area.

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