Disrupting the Career Path for Good
Combat veteran and reservist Matt Ronen was in his final semester of business school at Cornell University—months away from launching a lucrative corporate career—when an unforeseen event changed the trajectory of his life.
On the night of March 2, 2011, while walking home from dinner, Matt was violently assaulted, kidnapped, and robbed. Although Matt was fortunate to escape with his life, the severity of his injuries rendered him unable to return to his reserve unit.
As Matt came to terms with the fact that he would never serve in uniform again, he was forced to revisit his core beliefs about duty and purpose. During a difficult period of his recovery, Matt fatefully came upon the words of Anne Frank:
“No one has to wait, but can start right now to gradually change the world... Everyone, great and small, can immediately help bring about justice by giving of themselves.”
Anne’s simple, but profound vision shook Matt to the core and lit the spark of what would become ServiceCorps. For while Anne had correctly observed that everyone can make a difference, sadly our increasingly rigid career path restricts young professionals from actually doing so.
It was in that moment, while still clutching Anne's diary, that Matt heeded a new call to service: to empower the most talented emerging leaders to tackle society's toughest challenges the first year of their career and every year thereafter.
Over the next two years, Matt worked tirelessly to develop a cross-sector model of national service based on Israeli non-military national service and on his own experience working for Teach For America. After saving money by living on a friend’s couch, in 2013 Matt left a career in corporate America to launch the Service Year Movement.
In 2016, Matt launched the flagship program of the Service Year Movement, the ServiceCorps "Ronen" Fellowship, in honor of terrorism victim Ronen Landau הי״ד (March 13, 1984—July 26, 2001), whose tragic murder at the age of 17 originally inspired Matt to serve.
Please join us in building the next greatest generation.
Photo: 2005, Matt pictured second row from bottom, left side.