Senior Talks About His Transformatiom While at PC
by Sarah Gianni ’18
Sitting at a high top table in McPhails, Matt Lovecchio ’18 reflected on his journey at Providence College, and how his experience has shaped him.
Lovecchio entered PC as a finance major, but realized during his sophomore year that he wanted to make a change. “I wasn’t happy as a finance major, and it was probably the best decision I made to switch,” he said. Now a public community service studies (PSP) major, Lovecchio said he had no idea that his field of study existed when he arrived to PC.
During his sophomore year, Lovecchio took a PSP 101 course, from which he subsequently secured an internship with City Farm in Providence. “I’ve taken a special interest in sustainable agriculture as a means for community development,” said Lovecchio. “Participating in this internship is when I really got interested in agriculture, sustainability, addressing the food industry, public health, and trying to use the knowledge I’ve gained for social justice.”
Lovecchio said he remembers wanting to incorporate this work in his life even when he was a kid. “I’ve always wanted to live off the land, but I used to think that I needed to make a lot of money first to acquire land,” he said.
However, Lovecchio was able to grow and live solely off of his own food this past May to August. “Before I knew it I was learning how to grow my own food for a purpose and a mission, and was really living out my childhood dream.”
During the summer months, Lovecchio worked at the Camden Ave Community Garden, where he had taken on the role of manager. He worked to get local youth involved in the garden by coordinating a summer program, and said he enjoyed the overlap of youth development and agriculture.
Lovecchio also dedicated time to volunteer with YouthRAP, a program for youth and teens in the Smith Hill community. Through this program young people can receive tutoring and participate in after school and weekend activities. He commented, “In the summer we were doing 50 hours a week but when school came around, we didn’t realize how drastic the difference was between summer and after school programing.”
With long hours and issues securing funding at times, Lovecchio said that non-profit work certainly is not glamorous. Yet, he reflected on the “something” that keeps him going. “I think it’s the community I’ve made in Smith Hill,” he said. “Whether it’s with organizations or individual community members, it has become my community.”
In addition to his work in the Smith Hill, Lovecchio is the president of the Providence College Environmental Club and serves on the executive board of PC Pals. “I believe the most valuable resource you have to give someone is your time, and I’ve definitely given a lot of time to these endeavors because they matter to me.”
In the future, Lovecchio said that he would like to see more attention and pride placed on local communities, combined with efforts towards sustainability. “For a few months this summer I lived in an intentional home stay community called the Listening Tree Cooperative.”
“The experience taught me how we can learn to live better with the land versus making it perform the way we want to.” The cooperative was co-designed by PC global studies faculty member Jim Tull. “Living there was very affirming, and tied philosophies of life, community, and agriculture together which I hope to continue.”