Loni Matthew is a 22-year-old budding author from Hayward, California, and one of the creators who accepted to collaborate on the Virtual Yolo Juneteenth Celebration. I had a chance to speak with her months before the event and, along with everyone in attendance, quickly became fascinated by her journey both as a Black woman in STEM and as someone who deeply cares for our youth’s wellness and success. At the time of the writing of this post, she is currently in pursuit of her Bachelor’s of Science in Marine Biology. Different forms of writing, such as narratives and poetry have always appealed to her from a young age. This intrigue grew into a skill that was developed and sharpened over the years. Expressing her artistry in the form of articles and poems, she enters the world of publishing with bright eyes and an open mind.
A testimony to her entrepreneurial spirit, her first book publication, Through the Fire: Embracing Setbacks, details the stages and outcomes of growing pains when faced with personal adversity. Her ultimate goal for this book is to touch the minds and hearts of those facing hardship, or to simply be used for introspection. As a student of life, she is constantly learning from both successors and students alike.