Scholar Profiles

Matthew Smith

Campus: UNC
Hometown: Tulsa, OK
High School: Bishop Kelley Catholic High School

I try to live my life by the example set in the parable of the talents found in the Gospel of Matthew chapter 25. The fundamental message of the parable is that it doesn’t matter how many talents you have been given in your life, it only matters whether or not you have done anything with said talents. I would be more content to be given one talent and use it to accomplish some small goal or make a small new talent than to be given one million talents and not accomplish any goals or share any of those talents with any of my fellow man.

I was lucky enough to be raised by my two biggest role models. My mom and dad were born into low income families, put themselves through college and landed good jobs where they met. My dad then took a leap of faith and left his day job to pursue his dream of owning his own business. After many hardships and failures he has finally made a great success of himself. This accomplishment took plenty of teamwork and tenacity by both of my parents, which subsequently those value have been instilled in me. I have used those skills to my full potential so far in my life by being involved with student government, captaining my football and wrestling teams as well as winning a wrestling state championship in high school. My success in athletics gave me many different opportunities for college, but I ultimately will be competing on the wrestling team at UNC and hope to represent the university well.

I believe I use the gifts imprinted on me even more so in the classroom because I am usually not the smartest person in the room, therefore I have to work that much harder to not only keep up with my fellow classmates but to surpass them and try to lead others by example. The subjects of mathematics and science have always made sense to me and I plan to use those talents to eventually get involved in the business world and, being inspired by my father’s accomplishment, I eventually want to start my own business. I hope that the path I am on right now leads me to helping others in the future because helping those around me is one of my many passions!

What drew you to the Robertson Program? I loved how the selection criteria was based on Purposeful Leadership, Intellectual Curiosity, Strength of Character, and Collaborative Spirit and not just an ACT/SAT score or high school GPA. I believe using those four pillars to select the scholars makes the program much more diverse in skill sets and backgrounds. I knew if I was lucky enough to be able to meet and work with other young adults who value these traits just as I do my opportunities for growth and positive change would be endless!

Smith, Matthew (UNC 2021)