Matthew Richardson Receives Gen-I Survey Grand Prize
Matthew Richardson is 21 years old and a citizen of the Haliwa-Saponi Indian Tribe. Matthew participated in the 2017 Gen-I Survey to bring awareness to Native cultures, tribes, and youth organizations in his home state of North Carolina.
As a student at Alamance Community College, Matthew studies horticulture in hopes of using what he learns to enhance food security in his tribal community. He shared that his community in Hollister, NC, has limited access to nutritious foods. Grocery stores can be up to 20 miles away, and food that is readily available tends to be unhealthy.
To further his knowledge in this field, Matthew recently participated in the National Association for Landscape Professionals’ (NALP) conference, which allows horticulture students to network with companies and each other while testing skills that are utilized within the industry. Events include plant and pest identification, equipment operations, interior and exterior landscape design, sales and arboriculture, and more. Matthew’s school will be the first community college to host the event this upcoming year.
Matthew also recognizes the importance of Native youth having opportunities to participate in their culture. That’s why he’s working with Dr. Marvin Richardson to help reconnect Haliwa-Saponi youth to culture, language, and coming of age ceremonies.
As one of our randomly-selected Gen-I Survey prize winners, Matthew received Nike N7 shoes as thanks for his participation. Nike N7 partners with the Center for Native American Youth to expand opportunity for young indigenous leaders through the Generation Indigenous Initiative. The Gen-I Survey is a key component of CNAY’s work to understand and respond to the needs of Native youth.
Thanks, Matthew for sharing with us! You can follow Matthew on Twitter at @_schleepyesa.