Saade Matthews spends her time and energies on service projects throughout Baltimore in the hope that youth in once thriving communities, especially African-American neighborhoods, will have strong, positive role models and in turn work to uplift their communities.
Her service experiences have taught her the value of collaboration and building relationships. As a legislative intern with Baltimore Senator Verna Jones-Rodwell (44th district), Saade assisted with the senator’s presence in social media, and helped to develop promotional materials for her reelection campaign. She volunteers and serves as part of a digital media team for purpleblessingbags.org, a group that helps to feed those who find themselves homeless in Baltimore.
Saade’s Collegetown LeaderShape family cluster volunteered with the Kennedy Krieger Institute. They worked with children with intellectual and physical disabilities on reading and art activities. “What struck me was their eagerness to learn and participate in the art activities. It was a life-changing experience.”
After reflecting on her service experiences, Saade realized the capacity for healing that practicing art holds. Her vision is to create art therapy clinics for children who experience physical and emotional abuse as well as those who suffer from mental health issues. “I chose this vision to stop children from becoming troubled adults.”