Matthew Wilson

JIE Scholar; Production Assistant, Artist, and Mentor

     Looking to find his path and alter his future after incarceration, Matthew Wilson applied for a program called the Prison-2-College-Pipeline that allowed him to earn 18 credits before he was released from the custody of New York State Department of Corrections on October 31st, 2016. Impressing his English professor, mentor, and founder of the Prison-2-College-Pipeline program, Baz Dreisinger, with his lucid and thoughtful writing, Wilson was asked to apply for the Justice-in-Education Initiative for the spring of 2017. As a motivated and committed student, Wilson enrolled at LaGuardia Community College that same spring, challenging himself by taking four courses while attending JIE. 

     His scholarly excellence earned him a recommendation to the LaGuardia Honors Society and The LaGuardia Honors Internship Program. Through this program, he was given the opportunity to interview for an internship with NBC, where he was one of 700 selected out of 19,000 applicants. As an intern with NBC Universal, Wilson's role as a production assistant with the tri-state Channel 4 News has allowed him to gain transferable skills needed to gather information and help tell the stories that people cannot tell for themselves. 

     As a mentor and college assistant with the CUNY Fatherhood Academy, Wilson works with young fathers who want to improve the reading and writing skills needed to gain a High School Equivalency diploma. The young men he works with want to become positive role models for their children, and change the narrative of young men of color and the stereotypes they face as young fathers. Through this work, Wilson motivates individuals to enroll in college by providing the insight gained from his experiences, while creating an outlet for these young men to tell their own stories. Wilson is now creating a docu-series with some of the young fathers he works with, allowing their voices to be heard. 

     A creative artist and storyteller, Wilson has written the story line for a three-part graphic novel saga titled Swords of Fortune, which he co-illustrated with writer and artist Miguel Williams. As a talented cartoonist and writer with a love for cinema, Wilson aspires to be a writer and filmmaker who touches on the social issues that are often overlooked in media and society.