Student of the Issue: Mateo Alban

Mateo Alban, a Malvern Prep freshman, raised $6,000 on January 24 for the Chester County Food Bank on a trip to Peru last spring.
Student of the Issue: Mateo Alban

In January 2024, Mateo Alban ‘26 and his family traveled to Peru. The trip last Spring was the first time Mateo had visited since he was four years old. Mateo found his trip a very eye-opening experience and he was surprised at what he saw.


“Many of the streets were not paved, and the amount of poverty made me sad. This is what inspired me to help out in my community and make a difference,” Mateo said.


Mateo Alban’s dad, Mr. Miguel Alban P’23’27 and Malvern Prep Board of Trustees Member, grew up in Piura, Peru in a middle-class home. 

“Everybody struggles there financially [and] with food. The houses are very fragile, the rain destroys the city, there’s no electricity, [and] there’s no air conditioner. It’s a poor city,” Mr. Alban said.


After Mateo left Peru, he wanted to do something for his community and make a difference.


“Since my dad is on the board of the [Chester County] Food Bank, he was able to contact the CEO of the CCFB letting [her] know I want to do some sort of fundraiser for them. I did a little bit of research on the food bank trying to get to know more about them,” Mateo said.

Mateo then researched everything he needed to know about the food bank.

 “After my research, I scheduled a day where I could go in and take some videos and photos on my phone of the actual food bank. After I got my footage, I edited it all into [a 2-3] minute video. I also needed a script, so with some information and statistics the food bank sent me, and information I looked up, I put together a script and did a voiceover on my edited video. When my video was finished I sent it to the food bank and they made a link for my fundraiser where people could donate,” Mateo said. 

Raising $6,000 for a foodbank is never easy; however, Mateo was ready for the challenges and difficulties. 

“The main challenge I faced was promoting and getting people to donate. I did not have a social media account to promote my fundraiser, but my dad did,” Mateo said. 

Mr. Alban continued to help Mateo by posting about the fundraiser on Instagram and sending it out to people.

“At first, many people donated, and we were on track to meet our goal of $5,000. Then the donations started to slow down, and we were stuck between $2,000 and $3,000,” Mateo said.

After time spent with no donations, Mateo’s mom sent the link to the video to everyone she knew, and this finally helped him. 

“He ended up raising himself $6,000, and a local company ended up matching everything he raised. A CEO of the company raised $12,000 for the food bank,” Mr. Alban said. 

For anyone interested in getting involved and helping out, the Chester County Food Bank offers many opportunities for service and volunteer hours. 

“They do several volunteering opportunities so kids can go there and help on the weekends. They need volunteers to go and do meal preparation, and they need to put all the cans, soups, [and] food in bags so they can get put in a box so the trucks could ship them to [the] areas where people need the food. You can go on the website of the Chester County Food Bank and register to volunteer,” Mr. Alban said.


Mateo learned a lot about the food bank and realized that food insecurity is a big problem in Chester County. 

 “Many people think everyone in Chester County is rich, but that is simply just not the case at all. Many people still suffer from food insecurity every single day,” Mateo said.

Mateo’s love for his community was covered on many local news broadcasts so Chester County can see that one person can make a change. 

For more on this story, there are links below by local news stations:

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