Passion for Learning Appoints New Executive Director

Mathew Ratz has been named the new executive director of Silver Spring-based nonprofit, Passion for Learning, the organization announced yesterday.

Ratz replaces Cynthia Rubenstein, the founding executive director, who retired after 19 years leading the group.

P4L, as it is frequently known, works to “provide diverse cohorts of MCPS students in low-income communities develop the skills they will need for a knowledge-based global economy and technology-rich society. Through hands-on, project-based learning, our middle and high school students inquire, collaborate, problem solve, create, communicate, and connect with the world,” according to its website.

One of the major focuses of the group is helping to prepare middle school students to go to college.

Ratz comes to P4L from Sheppard Pratt, where he was program director of school and community youth services at Sheppard Pratt. Prior to that he served as the senior manager of Knowledge & Learning at NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness, and he served as executive director at On Our Own of Prince George’s County’s executive director, among other work with nonprofits and community service groups.

“We are excited to welcome Matthew to Passion for Learning as we make this important transition,” Jacqueline Hilton, P4L’s board president, said in the announcement. “His prior experience, infectious energy, and his heart to serve underrepresented populations provide a solid foundation for his successful transition into the organization.”

“I know my greatest accomplishments in life will be the differences I make for the people I serve,” Ratz added. “For more than 15 years, I have empowered, amplified, and uplifted others through my work, my teaching, my writing, my public speaking, and my advocacy. This work is bigger than me.”

Ratz assumed his new duties on July 5.

Photo courtesy P4L

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