Matt has more than fifteen years of drug and alcohol prevention experience. In 1993, as a Bucknell University sophomore, he founded a grassroots prevention group called C.A.L.V.I.N. & H.O.B.B.E.S. (Creating A Lively Ingenious New Habit Of Being (at) Bucknell (and) Enjoying Sobriety). Former Bucknell president, William “Bro” Adams, referred to the organization as “revolutionary.” In 1996, the group moved into a 23-bedroom, former fraternity house on campus, prompting US News & World Report to remark, “how times have changed.”
A member of the National Speakers Association, Matt has been speaking nationally and internationally for over a decade. His “How to Get High, Naturally!” program has been best described as a combination of interactive demonstrations, inspirational stories and stand-up comedy. Dr. Bellace has spoken at national conferences, such as Youth to Youth, PRIDE and FCCLA. His schedule regularly includes over 100 high school and college programs across the country.
In June 2005, Matt achieved his greatest accomplishment to date. He received a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Drexel University (Philadelphia, PA). Dr. Bellace’s subspecialty is child and adolescent neuropsychology, the study of the developing brain and behavior. He completed his internship at The Mount Sinai Medical Center (NYC), working with patients on the Traumatic Brain Injury and Spinal Cord Injury units. Dr. Bellace’s dissertation topic was emotional memory, an expertise that is not lost when he presents to an audience. As a speaker, Matt delivers an impactful program, using every aspect of his life experience.
Dr. Bellace’s primary goal is to encourage young people to pursue natural highs and make healthy choices. He believes that by empowering students to make healthy choices and pursue natural highs, students will be less likely to abuse substances.