Finding Greatness: Matred Conaway

Author: News Bureau
Posted: Monday, November 16, 2020 12:00 AM
Categories: School of Education and Behavioral Sciences | Students | Pressroom | Finding Greatness

Macon, GA


After completing graduate school, MGA social work major and President’s Torch Society member Matred M.Conaway hopes to start a non-profit agency that helps survivors of domestic violence rebuild their lives.

Full Name: Matred M. Conaway (pronounced mah - `TREAD).

Age: 48.

Hometown: Willingboro, N.J.

Residence: Macon.

High School: John F. Kennedy High School. “I was a premiere soloist in our Select Concert Chorus, as a performer with Showstoppers, our musical Performing Arts Program. One of the highlights was the opportunity to perform on Broadway and sing our school alma mater song at graduation. I also co-created a singing trio called ‘Perfect Harmonations,’ with two of my friends. During each of our 4 years of high school, we were permitted to visit various classrooms to sing and we created assembly programs with our other friends from our community- with the blessing of our principal and several instructors.”

Family: Husband of 13 years, Vernon D. Conaway; sons, J. Daniel Gadson, II., Joshua D. Gadson (deceased), Ashton Conaway; daughter, Christina M. Conaway; mother, Pastor Gail P. Hunter; father, Bishop Willie Hunter; brother, Kashiah Hunter, III; sister, Amanda G. Hunter.

Employment: “In addition to being a full-time student and a full-time caregiver, I had previously served as a student worker in MGA’s Center for Career Leadership and Development, and in the Department of Teacher Education and Social Work.  I hope to receive an internship opportunity beginning summer 2021.”

Degree Objective: “After receiving my Bachelor of Science in Social Work, I plan to pursue a Master of Science in Social Work, then pass my exam to become a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW). My top three graduate school choices are Clark Atlanta University, Howard University, and The University of Pittsburgh.”

Class Rank: Junior.

Activities: Golden Key Honor Society member (2018-present); Central Georgia Council on Family Violence - member since 2018, chair (2019 – present); National Society for Leadership and Success- member, community service chair (2019-present); MGA Student Worker of the Year - two-way tied winner (2019-2020); President’s Torch Society- membership committee chair (2020); Psi Chi Honor Society, MGA chapter- member (2020); SGA Student Affairs committee member (2020); Domestic Violence Specialist (DVS) in Delaware, 2016-2018; board of directors and certified task force speaker at Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence (DCADV), 2016-2017.

Career Goals: “I am aspiring to explore a social work career working with domestic violence survivors and their families- especially military families, and I also want to open an agency that seeks to help DV survivors to rebuild and re-establish their lives (emotionally, mentally, financially) after leaving an abusive relationship. I’d like to utilize my music background as a tool to help facilitate healing for the clients that I serve.”

She chose Middle Georgia State University because … “I originally had set my sights elsewhere, but almost immediately I fell in love with the atmosphere of care, encouragement, and support that courses through every staff and faculty member and permeates every classroom on the campus grounds. As an older student with a lot of academic ‘miles,’ I knew that I was destined to finish strong - as a proud Knight!”

The greatest thing she discovered about Middle Georgia State was … “Despite all the traumas, struggles, and experiences of failure in my past, I found the real me. I’ve discovered that I have what it takes to succeed. I’ve discovered that all I needed was a determination to never quit, a loving and supportive family, and a few amazingly patient professors that encourage and inspire me along the way.”

Her greatest academic experience as a Middle Georgia State student has been … “When I finally earned reclassification as a junior! I cried tears of joy because I had been in a seemingly unending ‘holding pattern’ as a freshman for 30 years because of stopping and starting many times while working on a degree. When I graduated high school in June 1989 I had no desire to go to college, but I finally agreed to go to business school and a local community college part-time. I married at 19, had babies, and made approximately six attempts to return to school. I was dealing with health issues, the loss of my younger son, and my spouse’s health issues. But I’m proud to say that I’m currently on my seventh attempt! MGA proved to be the right place, at the right time - graduation is finally within sight.”

To her, greatness means … “Three things: 1. Courageously forging ahead by not allowing setbacks of tragedy, or even extreme adversity, keep you bound. 2. Walking by faith and leading with love and empathy for others.  3. Learning to forgive yourself for all your life’s detours, understanding that even our mistakes have a positive purpose attached to them.”

In five years … “I hope to have opened my own social services agency, recorded my fifth album, published my third book, traveled to Africa with my husband and our children, and have pioneered new, ground-breaking methodologies that will help people all over the world.”