Mathilda was born and raised in Bethlehem, Palestine. Since graduating from Roanoke College with a BA in international relations, she has served in several peacebuilding capacities. In Palestine she worked for Tent of Nations, a grassroots peace project that strengthens intercultural relationships between Palestinians and visitors from around the world. She later served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ukraine, where she taught English, coordinated summer camps, and wrote and implemented a USAID grant for community trainings on resume writing, public speaking, and project design and management. Mathilda speaks Arabic and Ukrainian. As a student, she was the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.