"@mattmaherstory I had the honor of hearing one of the most compelling presentations about intelligent decisions and integrity ever."
@MelRises State Farm Agent

New Jersey Assemblies are Sponsored by SJTPO & Funded by State Farm Insurance 

In 2007, Matthew graduated from Temple University with a major in Business Administration and Legal Studies.  Upon graduation, he was immediately drafted as a first round draft pick to play professional soccer. 

After 3 seasons of playing, in March 2009, Matthew made a poor decision to drink and drive resulting in an accident, which took the life of Hort Kap, a father of six children. One bad decision would forever blot out all the good decisions he had made in his life. He took full responsibility and did his best to take an adverse situation to make a difference for others in the I’m That Guy program that was presented to over 7,000 students prior to his sentencing in 2009.

Matthew was sentenced to 5 ½ years in prison and it was during that time that he would earn his "Phd" from the Department of Corrections in the "University of Adversity", where he used every bit of his prison experience and never allowed the negative surroundings to imprison or shape him.  He used his gifts and talents to teach other inmates: he shared his many books and resources, he leveraged his sports background to organize work outs and influence for the good, he assisted them in contacting their families and led a daily bible study. It was his selfless example that earned him the respect of many of his peers—including many gang members.

Through the darkness of the valley and in the isolation of prison, Matthew’s expertise grew in so many ways. He was a public speaker prior to prison. He was a spokesperson for the Peer Challenge Program; the Fellowship of Christian Athletes; and for his various sports teams through the years. However, the prison experience had broadened his perspective and passion for all types of individuals. It was obvious through the daily activity on Matthew’s blog, which was posted on a website, that his words were influencing and impacting people—far beyond what he could have ever imagined.  And suddenly his story evolved from his personal tragedy to a platform that was stimulating hope in people from all walks of life.

 Matthew says, “When you give someone hope, you give someone a future.” 

Even though Matthew is a strong man of faith, he can deliver an empowering message in the secular realm when requested. His speaking engagements are personal and geared to the individual audience. 


Student at Oakcrest High School: 
"Matt your speech today had a very deep influence on me and my choices. I had to sit through the assembly twice because it was so strong. Thank you so much for sharing. God bless."

Teacher at Atlantic County Alternative High School: 
"Let me start out by saying Matt Maher is a very gifted man. He came to our school and spoke to our students with heart and compassion. Our students sat in our cafeteria for over an hour and did not speak a word. They were truly mesmerized by his performance. They are asking me daily when is he coming back. The message he speaks was taken in by our students and will hopefully help them on their life's journey.  Please reach out to Matt for me and tell him words can't express how thankful I am that he took the time to speak to my students and answer their questions, I truly believe he left my school having a great impact on my students! Thanks again for this wonderful presentation!!"

Student at Buena High School:
"I'm 18 years old and I was in the assembly you did today at Buena. I'm sure you get this all the time but you really impacted me and changed my perspective on so much. I think of you as a complete role model, someone who went through the worst of the worst and you changed yourself in the most positive way and I think that is so admirable. I like how you took your mistakes and now are trying to change others. I'd be lying if I said I never texted while driving, or drove after drinking. Its not that I don't know it's wrong because I do, but it's hard to explain but I guess I don't really think about it. Like you said, I think "it'll never happen to me." I've seen a video about you but never have seen you talk in person and I cannot tell you how appreciative I am to have the privilege to hear your story. I can assure you that you made me want to change my ways and you impacted my life in ways I never even thought. I was so intrigued by your story today and I can't express how gracious I am. Thank you for sharing and just know that you definitely affected one person today."

Director for Student Life at Cumberland County College: 
"First and foremost, thank you for coming back to heighten the awareness of making a bad decision and for taking ownership of your fatal error, Matt. The presentation is a bone chilling one that truly tugs at your heart on many levels - as a Mother, as a friend, as a family member and so on. Matt's sincerity and humility make the presentation that much deeper and he establishes a trust almost automatically with the audience members. 

Schools Serviced in New Jersey:

Pleasantville High School
Fairfield Township Middle School
Mainland High School
Penns Grove High School
Upper Twp Middle School
Elmswood Park High School
David Brearly High School
Wildwood Catholic High School
Egg Harbor Twp High School
Cumberland Regional High School
Camden County Tech High School
Woodstown High School      
Maple Shade High School
Millville High School
Pleasantville Middle School
Pennsauken High School
Cumberland Community College
Logan Twp Middle School
Emerson Jr./Sr. High School
Immaculate Heart Academy
Bogota High School
Wayne Hills High School
Cape May Vo-Tech High School
Memorial High School
Fort Lee High School
Ramapo High School
Indian Hills High School
Y.A.L.E Middle/High School
Oakcrest High School
Don Bosco Prep High School
Teaneck High School
Leonia High School
Park Ridge High School
Tenafly High School
Pequannock High School
Clearview Regional High School
Ridgefield Memorial High School
Absegami High School
Ramsey High School
Vernon High School
James Caldwell High School
Hackensack High School
Becton High School
Palisades Park High School
Pennsville High School
Waldwick High School
Bernard High School
Wayne Valley High School
Demarest High School
Old Tappan High School
Kearny High School
Hackensack Police Youth Academy
Clayton High School
Cedar Grove High School
Pascack Hills High School
Pascack Valley High School
Audubon High School
Summit High School
West New York Memorial High School
Wallington High School
Medford Memorial Middle School
New Providence High School
River Dell High School  
Ridgefield Park High School
Gloucester County Institute of Technology
Woodbury High School
Hasbrouck Heights High School
Harrison High School 
Bergenfield High School
Whippany Park High School
Delsea Regional High School
Highland Regional High School
Deptford High School
Monongahela Middle School
Belleville High School & Middle School
Kingsway Middle School
Roosevelt Middle School
Nehaunsey Middle School
Sterling High School
Jefferson Middle School
Lyndhurst High School
Millburn High School

The non-profit Be Still Foundation was birthed as a direct result of several unexpected tragedies befalling the Maher family. Andrea Maher, Executive Director of the Be Still Foundation, tragically lost her oldest son John at the age of 28. He left behind a 4-month-old daughter. Three years later, and just surfacing from the fog of grief, her healthy and active mother suffered an unexpected heart attack and following a routine procedure was rendered brain dead. She died a month later.

And then the unthinkable.... Just eight weeks after burying her mother, Andrea's youngest son, Matthew, a college graduate and professional soccer player made the fatal decision to drink and drive and he struck the vehicle of 55-year-old Hort Kap, a father of six children. Mr. Kap was pronounced dead at the scene. Matthew was sentenced to prison for 5 years and 5 months.

It was during the paralyzing "waiting" period of this trauma that Matthew delved deeper into his faith and reliance on God. The verse that spoke to his heart and calmed his soul was Psalm 46:10, "Be still and know that I am God." This Scripture became the mantra for the entire Maher household as they tried to make sense of their tragic circumstances.

The Be Still Foundation knows the events in our lives will challenge us to answer the question: "Can my faith really sustain me in life-changing trials and uncertainty?" The Maher family story is a living example of how adversity is no respecter of persons; and their response to tragedy offers hope and eternal perspective in navigating the storms that enter our lives.


The Be Still Foundation is committed to advocating responsible decision making through education for the prevention of risky behaviors as well as prompting personal accountability and providing strategies for overcoming adversity-- whether disseminating the crisis management material via mail—to prisons, rehabs, families in crisis; or delivering a message of hope through assemblies and seminars.

The Be Still Foundation is devoted to providing a safe haven of preventative instruction and/or responsive direction. The foundation knits its culture together based on the biblical truth found in Psalm 46:10: "Be still and know that I am God."


"I'd rather stand alone with Jesus than sit in a crowd without Him."
- Matthew Maher