We would like to welcome Matt Bender to the Community Foundation! Learn a little about him in this Q&A.

What inspired you to pursue a career in the nonprofit field?

When I was in high school, I worked for Patch 21, which was a local nonprofit aimed at providing afterschool programs for local youth.  In that role, I was able to see firsthand the magnitude of impact that a nonprofit can have, and it stuck with me.  Since then, I have spent over a decade working in public schools, and throughout that time I have worked closely with myriad nonprofits whose sole focus was to help others.  Many factors have led me to be here now, and needless to say I am excited to get to work.

What part of your new job are you most excited about?

Helping people.  It has always been important to me that my energy and efforts go toward a cause aimed at helping others, whether that’s a student in the back of the classroom or the local workforce of Loudoun and Fauquier Counties.  I am also excited to reframe the skills I’ve developed in education to benefit the wonderful nonprofit organizations of this area.

How do you stay motivated?

If I had to pick one source of motivation, especially in those times when work gets stressful and life gets complicated, I would probably go with my sense of duty.  I always strive to do great work.

What is one professional skill you are working on?

Right now, I am learning a lot of new things.  My top priority at this point is learning all of the systems within the Community Foundation and positioning myself in a way that can help them grow.

What is something that people would not guess about you?

In middle school, I would get into trouble for falling asleep because I stayed up all night reading books.  After I explained it to my teacher, she let me stand next to the window when I felt tired.