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Black Lives Matter: A Statement by Mia

I am proud of all I have accomplished; this fall I will be on my way to pursue higher education at an accredited university and I am honored to be recognized as the winner of the Minds Matter Achievement Scholarship for the Class of 2020. But no amount of education, no amount of praise, money, or honor can keep me safe from the harsh reality: I am what America hates. A strong, educated, young Black woman.

And no one can refute this statement. Black people are dying at the hands of racist police officers and white supremacists all the time. And not a single thing has been done about it. There has been no change. So often I am left to wonder, am I next? My family? My friends? Because for a long time now I have known that ‘freedom and justice for all’ does not apply to the Black community.

The recent murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor have left me in literal tears as I grieved not only their deaths but countless others including those we don’t know about, but have happened. I am frustrated, sad, scared and confused. But most of all, I am tired. Tired of these murders that could be prevented. Tired of the injustice. Tired of the lack of representation. Tired of the lack of education and the carelessness that comes from so many.

As I write this statement that reaches all of those who support Minds Matter, I want you to know that I am just one of many Black students that you are supporting. I want you to know, especially if you are non-black, that police brutality is real, Black Lives Matter, racism in this country is systematic, and as a result of this, many of you benefit from your own privileges. I want you to know that your silence, neutrality, and indifference will do nothing but allow for these things to continue to take place. I understand that for many of you this is unfamiliar, these are things you never had to think about or talk about, but that in itself is a problem. It is not the job of your Black peers, friends, coworkers, or employers to educate you on racism. There are thousands of resources at your disposal to educate yourselves on these matters whether it be books or movies. There is no excuse to not know and to not share what you know. I have linked here and here documents that list out thousands of resources to check out as well as be shared among friends and family.

As you continue to support Minds Matter and its students, know that we are passionate, goal driven, and ready to conquer whatever the world brings. We are resilient and strong. I ask that you continue to be compassionate and open minded, and that you continue to be supportive especially during these times. Lastly, I ask, to use your privilege to be a supportive ally.


Sophomore Lunch (1)

 As a thank you to their incredible group of Team Leaders, Sophomore Program Directors Caroline, Tom, Serena and Max, kicked off 2018 with a Mediterranean lunch in East Harlem. Serena shared: “We often don’t have a chance to connect given eight teams spanning two school sites. This lunch was opportunity for everyone to bond personally and share sessions best practices going forward. We learned fun facts like: Max is a point guard for a sports league, Lenny hosts open night mics, and a spring hike would be a fun upcoming team activity”

Minds Matter. Opportunities Matter.

Meet Lamia

Dear friend of Minds Matter,

My parents came to the United States from Bangladesh in hopes of building a brighter future for their kids. Despite being first generation, I knew the importance of a college education and how it could allow me to do things my parents were not able to do. And even though I was a good student, I sometimes felt that because of my background I was not the right fit for these higher institutions. I lost hope in going to a top-tier college.

Change for Change Photo

My freshman year of high school, I learned about Minds Matter from my guidance counselor. I did not know there were people out there who dedicated their lives to helping people like me. Once I got into Minds Matter, and with the help of my mentors, team leader, and my peers, I started to realize that I had potential. My mentors inspired me to look into top tier institutions like the ones they attended. My team leader is another role model because he was a mentee in Minds Matter and after graduating he became a volunteer. He was one of us at one point and he gives me hope for myself.

Minds Matter has introduced me to multiple opportunities that I would otherwise not have access to. During the summer of my sophomore year, I studied psychology and public speaking at University of Massachusetts, and this past summer I studied in Spain. Minds Matter also introduced me to an internship at Columbia University Medical Center to research obesity in a lab. I will be continuing my research in January because I enjoyed it so much and worked so well with my mentor in the lab. I have even gained networking skills and business etiquette just by communicating with my mentors and other volunteers in the program.

Minds Matter transforms the lives of people like me on a daily basis. From academic to financial support, Minds Matter is looking to build the next generation and by doing this they are helping build a better America. They not only show us the value of education but have also showed us the importance of giving back so we can change others’ lives when we are successful. What is different about Minds Matter is it provides individual help and attention for each and every one of their students every session. They care for every one of us and this is apparent through all the work they do and the time they spend with us on Saturdays. Every volunteer is dedicated to helping their mentee and others in the program. Minds Matter is unique and an amazing organization that can really go far and become even greater with the help of your donations.

Lamia, Minds Matter Class of 2016

Support students like Lamia. Donate today!

Jeff & Kayleigh’s Wedding

Dear Family and Friends,

Thank you for visiting our wedding site for Minds Matter of New York City! Minds Matter is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to transform the lives of accomplished high school students from low-income families by broadening their dreams and preparing them for college success.

Jeff has been involved as a volunteer with Minds Matter for 12 years and has passionately supported the organization while watching over 500 students graduate from high school and enter college.  Jeff’s time and dedication to Minds Matter is almost comparable to his multi-year interest and pursuit of Kayleigh.  Coincidentally, both efforts came together when Jeff asked Kayleigh to join him at a Minds Matter Soiree event over 2 years ago.  This was the first time Jeff and Kayleigh spent time together outside of her work and was the budding of the relationship that has grown today.

In lieu of a traditional wedding registry, we would be honored and grateful if you would support Minds Matter of NYC in the form of a donation.  Any contribution is greatly appreciated and would go directly to helping high-achieving, low-income high school students in need. Please include your email and mailing address with your donation so that we can send you a proper thank-you note.

Thank you!


Jeff & Kayleigh

How to Donate to Minds Matter:

Your generous donation will go towards helping us support 180 high-achieving, low-income high school students all the way to college!

A $100 donation will cover the cost for a student to attend the annual College Bus Tour.

A $250 donation will cover the travel costs for a student to attend a Summer Program on a college campus.

A $500 donation will send a student to the Minds Matter Academic & Leadership Development Academy (ALDA) Summer Program.

A $1,000 donation will provide a Senior scholarship for a student for their first year of college.

Donate via check:

If you would like to donate via check, please make checks payable to Minds Matter of NYC and include Jeff & Kayleigh in the Memo line. All checks may be mailed to:

Minds Matter of NYC
1120 Avenue of the Americas
4th Floor
New York, NY

Your donation to Minds Matter is tax-deductible, and you will receive a tax receipt within two to three weeks after we receive your donation.

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