When he was recruited to play basketball at Anna Maria, Michael made sure the school had human service and social work programs that would allow him to follow his passion for helping others turn their lives around. He came from a large urban high school, but was attracted to the small class sizes at Anna Maria.

“I work best in small settings, and the one-on-one attention from faculty members has been beneficial for me in so many ways.”

When Michael received his basketball workout packet the summer before his freshman year, he saw an opportunity to keep kids off the streets and invited a small group of at-risk kids in the Lawrence area to join him for workout sessions. Since that first year, Michael’s grassroots group, The Movement Family (TMF), has expanded by word-of-mouth to include more than 250 kids who get together each summer to participate in social activities and community outreach projects. Michael’s ultimate goal for the group is to provide a safe environment where these kids can find support, meaningful relationships and purpose in their lives.

Close relationships with his own mentors at Anna Maria have made such a difference for Michael in finding his own way as well. Being able to work alongside his professors and peers in a hands-on learning environment has brought the field of social work to life for him, and his internship at a detox center for adolescents struggling with addiction is right in line with what he wants to be doing. Michael is coming away from Anna Maria equipped with everything he needs to keeping moving forward with his work in helping others. And it’s brought him closer to the possibility of increasing the impact of his work with TMF.

“I’ve become a better person. I’m looking to the future and setting goals for myself. Knowing what I want to do with life has motivated me to be as successful as I can.”


MAJOR: Social Work
Captain, Men’s Basketball Team; Multicultural/Diversity Awardee, Higher Education Consortium of Central Massachusetts