Connor Schoen

2019 Cheng Fellow

Connor Schoen graduated from Harvard College in 2020 with a concentration in Applied Mathematics. Connor is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Breaktime, a youth-led nonprofit movement that elevates young adults out of homelessness through transitional employment and financial empowerment. Connor grew up in Westborough, MA, and his dream ever since fifth grade has been to lead his own nonprofit organization. Throughout his childhood, Connor served as a Project 351 Service Ambassador and Chairman of the Governor’s Statewide Youth Council. He led two annual service projects in his hometown and across the Commonwealth, and he advocated for statewide SBIRT screenings and a youth awareness campaign to combat the opioid epidemic in his state. While at Harvard, Connor lived in Lowell House, and he studied Applied Mathematics with a focus on Economics in order to better understand quantitative methods for assessing and solving issues like LGBTQ+ homelessness, youth unemployment, and financial illiteracy. During his freshman year at Harvard, while battling internally over his own sexuality, Connor learned that 40% of young adults experiencing homelessness identify as LGBTQ+, so he began working at a shelter for LGBTQ+ young adults. Inspired by the strength and resilience of these young people, Connor came out as bisexual in early 2018, and ever since then, he has been working tirelessly to empower his LGBTQ+ peers and allies with good-paying job opportunities, paid financial literacy and leadership classes, and career mentorship. Connor graduated a year ahead of his social class in 2020, and as a Pforzheimer Public Service Fellow, he is realizing his fifth-grade dream by working full-time to scale Breaktime and ensure that every young person has a fair opportunity for a sustainable career and stable life.

Connor still lives in the Boston area with his dog, Sammy, and he loves to run, bike, and play pickleball with his family.