2016 Spokester Search: Matthew D.

Matthew is a 22-year-old from Bloomfield Township

Matthew's Situation

Hey there! My name is Matthew Dean, and I am a recent alumnus of Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where I studied Graphic Design. Born and raised in the city of Southfield, my main goal after graduation was to return to my home state and give back to my community in any way possible. I currently work for City Year, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing academic support in low performing school districts to improve the graduation rate and school-wide performance overall; the site I am located at is in Detroit and my corps serves in Detroit Public Schools. When I am not at work, I am pursuing my passion in art. Not only do I specialize in design, but I am also proficient in animation, illustration, and video editing! I take great joy in helping others, and I would love to use the skills that I have obtained to educate people my age through Michigan First!

Matthew's Blog Post

Make your down time in the Great Lake State even greater with these five tips and tricks! Before long, you will know cost effective, in-state vacationing like the back of your hand (or in Michigan’s case, the back of your mitten).

1) Pick a peninsula

The beauty of Michigan lies within its two unique peninsulas that offer a myriad of experiences for any occasion. Whereas the Upper Peninsula provides a rustic, outdoorsy experience, the Lower Peninsula combines that same experience with a heightened urban presence, with plenty of hustling and bustling cities to choose from. From the quaint, old fashioned simplicity of Mackinac Island to the soulful, relentless tenacity of Detroit, your options are aplenty.

2) Weigh your options

Consider what activities you want to partake in during your vacation. Would you like to visit one of the many freshwater beaches along the Lake Michigan shoreline in Ludington? Or perhaps you would like to explore the State Capitol building in Lansing? Wherever your interests lie, compiling a list and scoping your environment will help you plan your adventure more effectively.

3) Form a budget 

Once you have an idea of what activities you would like to do, determine the cost of your vacation from start to finish. Will your plans demand an admission fee? What supplies will you need to bring? How much will you spend traveling? These are all questions to consider as you save up during the weeks leading into your trip. Don't forget to take advantage of freebies or student discounts at any stores or restaurants nearby! They are implemented specifically for young people like you in mind.

4) Drive to your destination 

With gas prices dwindling down to record lows, now is as opportune of a time as ever to hit the road for your excursion! Calculate the distance to your destination and the amount of time it will take to get there. Bring snacks with you to save time from making multiple pit stops. If applicable, bring a friend along to help with navigational duties, back-up driving, and keeping you company.

5) Commence the vacation!

The final and most important rule to planning your vacation is to have fun! However, this can be harder than it sounds if you let yourself be distracted by your electronics. Taking photos and videos of your trip is commended, but excessive monitoring of your social media accounts and other apps can devalue the excitement of your trip. Practice self control by learning when to put your phone away and focus on enjoying the vacation that you spent the time planning and saving up for. After all, it will be there later to share the memories with once your trip is over!