Originally Posted on wbaltv.com
By Vanessa Herring
A Baltimore man is among 115 fellows chosen to participate in Facebook’s first-ever Community Leadership Program. Matt Prestbury was chosen from a pool of more than 6,000 applicants and will head to California in a little over a week.
Facebook announced the program in February. Its goal is to give participants the tools and funding to best lead their communities. Prestbury leads an online community of more than 44,000 black fathers. Facebook’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, used a photo of Prestbury when he announced the program.
“He has shouted me out in a number of different places and different ways, so I said, for as much as I’ve done to help Facebook, I feel like, if anybody is going to get it, I feel like I deserve it, but I still had to do the work. I definitely didn’t take it for granted and just say, ‘Oh I got this,'” Prestbury said.
He heads to California for four days next month.
“I’m hoping to get out of it a lot of hands-on knowledge, hands-on experience, and talking to people and learning from their experiences so I can turn that into leadership, not only within the group, but leadership outside of Facebook,” he said.
Black Fathers, the Facebook group founded by Prestbury, is an online community where fathers can support and encourage each other. Prestbury’s goal is to create a foundation for black fathers.
“Ultimately, what I’d like to do is really create a fund that will help support other entities, other fatherhood groups that are doing things around the country, and really help provide funding for them so they can be supported. There are a lot of wheels out there already. I like to say, ‘I don’t feel like I need to reinvent the wheel. I just want to grease the wheel,'” Prestbury said.
Because he was accepted into the program, he will get financial support for his offline community-building activities, but he can’t say how much money Facebook will provide for those efforts.