Matthew Jennings

Haddam-Killingworth High School
Higganum, CT

On the Fast Track to Change

The desire to make the world a more equitable place guides this runner’s every step.

“Often, one of the only ways I know I am fighting for progress is if it scares me half to death,” says Matthew Jennings. “That’s where real, enduring change is born.” Matthew has learned to channel his nerves and use the energy to drive himself forward, whether that’s on the track, in the classroom, or standing up against perceived injustices in his community. This ability, combined with the example his family has set by always working hard to achieve lofty goals, has Mathew starting each day “with a fiery passion, earnestly in search of the next record to break or challenge to emerge victorious from.”

Matthew has been extremely successful in his pursuit. He holds a combined seven school records in cross country and track and field as well as three district records. He’s been on the high honor roll 12 times and has been awarded numerous other academic honors. And he participates in and helps lead several school club and community events. But he is proudest of the work he is doing as a student body representative to his school district’s board of education. “This past year specifically, in the wake of America’s racial reckoning, I focused on reimagining racial-education equity in my district,” he says. The timely, ongoing work has given him the opportunity to meet with many influential people, including Senator Richard Blumenthal. It has earned him a spot on the Connecticut Association of Schools’ Student Equity Advisory Board. Most importantly, it is allowing him to make a difference for all students. “Being able to help move my state forward has been one of the greatest honors of my life,” he says.

With policy, ethical governance, and education equity as some of his greatest passions, Matthew hopes to pursue a degree in Political Science and eventually use it to open up opportunities for others to achieve their own successes. He has chosen to further his academic and athletic career at Yale University where he looks forward to meeting and learning from people with different backgrounds. “The best way to grow as an accepting and compassionate human comes from exposure to new ideas, people, and experiences,” he says. “In the next chapter of my life, I look forward to contributing my own unique story, just as I am eager to learn from others whose stories differ so widely from my own.”



Cross Country

  • Varsity Letter Winner
  • All-Conference
  • All-District
  • All-State
  • 2 School Records
  • 2 District Records
  • 7-Time CT Shoreline Conference Champion


  • Varsity Letter Winner
  • All-Conference
  • All-District
  • All-State
  • 5 School Records
  • 1 District Record
  • 2020 New Balance Indoor Track National Championships Qualifier
  • 2020 CIAC Indoor Track State Open Champion
  • Sprint Medley Relay 2020 CIAC Class S State Champion


Academic Honors & Awards

  • University of Rochester’s George Eastman Young Leader’s Award/li>
  • 12-Time High Honor Role Student
  • Shoreline Conference Scholar Athlete
  • Spanish Honor Society
  • Infectious Enthusiasm for Science in Biology Honors
  • Outstanding Freshman in Introduction to Studio Art


School & Community Involvement

  • 175 Volunteer Hours
  • Class Officer
  • Student Representative to Regional School District #17
  • Connecticut Association of Schools’ Student Equity Advisory Board Member
  • Student Ambassador to Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Seminar
  • Current Events Club
  • Human Relations Club
  • Haddam-Killingworth Project Graduation
  • Killingworth Elementary School Festival of the Arts and Sciences Volunteer
  • Connecticut March for Our Lives
  • Catholic Heart Work Camp
  • St. Lawrence Church Teens in Action




“I seek a life of service where I can open doors that are closed to so many young people.”

~ Matthew Jennings ~