You are currently viewing Two Young NonProfit Leaders, Sobel & Rojas, Co-Founders, Lazarus Rising, Solutions For Combating Homelessness Show 020

Two Young NonProfit Leaders, Sobel & Rojas, Co-Founders, Lazarus Rising, Solutions For Combating Homelessness Show 020

Young Nonprofit Leaders Sobel & Rojas

What we will discuss:


Starting a Non-Profit and structuring the organizations.

Mission and Purpose of Lazarus Rising.

Creating a Volunteer College Network of Students.

Challenges faced by the organizations.

Building up resumes for start up profit v homeless and at risk individuals for non profits.

Power of bootstrapping.

Outside involvement to build leadership, character and values.

Partnerships formed to expand organizations. From board of advisors, to local chapters at other college campuses.

Utilizing free resources.

Skills learned from outside involvement in other organizations that contribute to the non profit success.

What we learned:


Lazarus Rising is a non profit organization that helps provide  job interview skills, online job portals, on-line application resume building and formatting to those who are at risk and homeless.

Sobel and Rojas are the two young leaders and Co-Founders behind the Lazarus Rising.  College students are constantly applying for internships and jobs online so those skills can transfer to helping at risk and homeless individuals and families.

The two Matthews  complement each other by providing there own expertise.  They met on student government.  Together they combine business acumen, smart minds and compassionate hearts. The free resume building workshops they provide are conducted at local homeless shelters.

When starting Lazarus Rising they used the easier more streamlined process to file for their 501(c) (3) as the initial revenues would be under a certain threshold amount.  James ‘Jim’ Sealy, is the organizations CFO who helps with research legal and financial sources writing small grants helped them easy easier 501(c) (3) status.

The challenge at first was will they eventually have enough volunteers. Other on campus student groups from the Blue Hen Investment Club (long equity fund) at the University of Delaware get involved with volunteering. and the endowment foundation provides support by providing some resources.

The opposite of investment banking might be building volunteer networks.

They have also used the free resources available at the library.

We talk bootstrapping whether for profit or non profit resources on campus to help them continue to grow organizations.

Matt Rojas is involved with bible study and Marine officer candidate school with core training to become 2nd Lt. upon graduation.  These outside interest help him develop skills that he can also use in Lazarus Rising.   They teach critical thinking under extreme stress and pressure, lead people in different backgrounds, create values, set up a course on how to inspire, honor courage, commitment driven, adaptive flexability under different circumstances and help grow under all types of situations.

Matt Sobel provides many words of wisdom for those who Listen Up:  never give up, you are always going to encounter difficulties but starting something and having an idea so you don’t pass the buck, take initiative, try to solve problems, it will work out with all different types of people with different thought processes, learn from your differences through open mindedness and mutual respect.

Lazarus Rising combating homelessness by offering solutions resume building and job placement skills.   The non-profit continues to grow with ten chapters at other colleges across the US and they are rapidly expanding.  expand.  The program model is scalable at universities and shelters across the country.

Found that the job application process can be standardized to provide job training to homeless and at risk individuals.  As college students they are naturally prepared to teach resume building and  interview skills for free as volunteers.


They decided to expand from the University of Delaware because the the problem is so much larger then Delaware and the solutions they are providing can help others. So the Matts reached out to friends at other college campuses and asked for their help to offer similar solutions.

This is now offered at 10 Universities across the country.

Board Members: -five people oversee Lazarus Rising on the national team.

Strategic Advisory Counsel: John McNell University of Delaware, Professor, David Sang at McKinley, William Cobb, PWC, State Senator Townsend, candidate for US House of Rep. help with overall operations and strategic direction.

Then they have chapter executives at each colleage location:  Pres/vP treasurer secretary promote creative control give autonomy freedom to thrive and innovate more and more people excited to keep growing and leaders to.  locally each chapters is structured with autonomy, provides local  decision making and leadership and creates interest among and between students and the strategic advisory counsel.

The Matts get a lot of joy out of helping with Lazarus Rising they can’t see themselves doing anything else

asked about the routine of there day start in morning – hardest task done first then move through the day if I didn’t get anything done at least I got that done don’t cram at end of day don’t spend entire day thinking about the hardest task

challenging – relies on his calendar full time students sort it all out organization.

Answers to the questions from the  Audible Fast Round:

1) Bad business advice receivd – slow down disagree with model don’t ago for that stay local

don’t allow people who are hestior don’t kmpw method

2) Flaws that became strengths – overly optimistic not able to see potential challenges getting passionate and going full throttle to scale this up take it to other places – bring it up why not us why shouldn’t we be the ones to do it – overly optimiatics attitude –

3) lessons to tell your younger self – I was quiet, afraid of putting myself out there, but I realized that I had much to offer everyone  – so now I speak up, share my ideas and follow up on those amazing ideas,  take charge, go for it, speak up and if there is something you want go for it

have more confidence in your own ability

4) Two years from now what are you guys doing – he will be officer in marines lazarus rising will continue to grow help serve so many people

5) What contributes most to your success – people who support them time and energy of people volunteers.

6) A purchase under 100 impacted your life the most – the book about socio economic desperarity asking for call of duty – it inspired him for under $10 bucks

7) app – google calendar organize online have your life focus and organized

8)  quote –  Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better. Samuel Beckett

The company Inspirational Quote: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. “ – Ghandi

9) Fun fact – All things Les Miserables and the Great Barrier Riff sky dive.

10) Parting words of wisdom – go for it – someone else will have this idea no your in a position to help and have a responsibility to care for one another and its the most rewarding way to live your life.Its just not dollars made but people served and lives changed.  go for your ideas go for your dreams if you don’t believe in yourself no one else will one reason it will work.

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Check out our last episode via with Genius Founder of the Grizzly Labs Bruno Virlet where he talks about bootstrapping his app development company.  In our next episode we interview Dean of the Horn Program at the University of Delaware, Dan Freeman.

Resources and Links:

If you have any guidance or help the Matthews are all ears to Listen Up contact them:



Special article: Delaware Business Times


Mitchell Chadrow

Listenup Show - Startups Smarter Mitchell Chadrow talks with startups, entrepreneurs, business owners and others on building startups smarter several times a month! Why Listenup? Whether you’re a student, recent graduate, startup entrepreneur, career professional, an employee in transition or a successful business owner, or recent retiree, I want to help people just like you. I interview successful professionals, business leaders, entrepreneurs and find out the resources, tools, tactics, that they use to execute and implement their own personal and business goals. The guest's personal stories provide a roadmap of actionable and executable steps and a wealth of wisdom to help you achieve your own business, family, and life goals and dreams. These stories also provide solutions, practical advice and tips for everyday problems and issues.Startup now at

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