Matt Haley meets with Pathways to Success students

Pathways to Success students gave Matt Haley a signed certificate as a thank you for his presentation to them. Shown are (l-r) Mariah Hendricks, Maria Ferreri (hidden), Alshaya Drummond, Melony Showell, Sha'Mariah Doakes, Haley, Jynequa Drummond, Aleya Tingle, Castaysha Lewis, Janisha Harmon and Kalene Garrison.
May 21, 2014

Two days after receiving the 2014 James Beard Foundation Humanitarian of the Year Award in New York City, Matt Haley was back in Delaware. Speaking at his Fish On restaurant in Lewes, Haley shared his life experiences with Cape Henlopen and Sussex Tech high school students who participate in the Pathways to Success after-school mentoring program.

Haley discussed his experiences with alcohol, drugs and imprisonment. Recovering in a rehabilitation facility in his early 30s, Haley was taught by a chef how to cook and also learned how to live. When he was released, this newfound talent allowed him to work his way up through several restaurants and eventually led him to open eight restaurants in Delaware.

In addition to providing employment for approximately 1,000 people through his businesses, Haley founded the Global Delaware Fund to provide goods and services to at-risk children and people in challenging circumstances, both in Delaware and globally.

A question-and-answer session was held after his presentation. One student asked, “How does a person improve their self-worth?” Haley’s answer was to find a person one feels comfortable with and trusts to talk to. He also stressed to surround oneself with great people.

One of Haley’s last comments was that there was nowhere he would rather be at that moment than with the students. Ever the true humanitarian, Haley lives for being there for other people.

For more information about Pathways to Success, go to or call Sussex County Director Fay Blake at 302-381-6414 or New Castle Director Pris Turgon, at 302-798-3520.

Pathways to Success Inc.’s programs at Sussex Tech and Cape Henlopen high schools are funded by the Delaware Workforce Investment Board and are equal opportunity programs.