The proof is in the progress.

Nurturing the next generation of great dreamers, thinkers, and doers is what we do. See how Curious Cardinals alumni have grown with us from start to finish.

Meet Matthew Diamond

From uninspired student to confident video game designer, this is Matthew’s Curious Cardinals journey.

10th Grade

The Consultation Call

During the Diamond family’s meeting with Curious Cardinals, Matthew was asked what he was passionate about, to which he answered, “I don’t know.” When Audrey asked him what he liked to do in his spare time when the demands of school and parents weren’t present, Matthew responded that he liked to play video games. Immediately Audrey and Alec were thinking about a mentor that could teach Matthew how to make his own video game. But Matthew’s dad expressed concern. Matthew had tried a video game design class at Wharton over the summer, but didn’t like it -- wouldn’t this be the same thing?

They decided Matthew would give it a try anyway, starting with CC on a Passion Project track with a video game deliverable as the goal.

Megan X.

Pittsburgh, PA
computer science
game design

The Pursuit of a Passion

Matthew works with his first mentor, Stanford computer science major, Rob, who helps him learn aspects of game design, including a rad level generation system, which becomes a key aspect of his passion project. He then works with Carnegie Mellon University computer science mentor, Megan, who teaches him the coding language C# to build the game in Unity.

Unlike the video game design class Matthew took at his school, his sessions with Curious Cardinals are challenging, engaging, and collaborative. Rather than being “taught to”, he feels empowered and accomplished.

Staying the Course

With Matthew’s creative spark ignited through experiential learning, it was time to start building the individual pieces of the game: the artwork for characters, scenes, and aspects of game play. For this, Matthew worked with Curious Cardinals mentor Charlotte, to learn animation, color, shading, and more.

Matthew dedicated countless hours outside of sessions to creating every aspect of his video game, sticking with it even when things got frustrating or when a task wasn’t his favorite.

Finishing Touches

Armed with knowledge, newfound confidence, and a toolbox full of new skills, Matthew took agency over every part of his passion project, including sourcing the music for his video game. By partnering with another existing Curious Cardinals mentor-mentee pair who were exploring music production, Matthew created the game’s soundtrack.

Mom and Dad are thrilled with Matthew’s progress, both the skills he’s learning, and the positive changes they’ve seen in him as a person.

Launching the Finished Project!

Wrapping up the project with his entrepreneurship mentor, Ayotomiwa, Matthew learned marketing and devised a strategy to launch his game, Multiverse Mercenaries. Matthew launched the game officially in Fall of 2022. Within the first two weeks of launch, Multiverse Mercenaries had over 8,000 downloads on Steam!

Summer before senior year

Milestones of Matthew’s passion project:

  • Built video game on Unity engine
  • Learned to code in C#
  • Created his own pixel art game assets
  • Published game on Steam
  • Used guerrilla marketing to attract players
Session per week
Total mentorship hours

We helped Matthew find his passion, and we’ll do the same for your student.

Get matched for free