Outstanding Grad: Matt Maguire, Accounting

Matt Maguire

If you knew Matt Maguire when he was in high school, you would never believe that he is graduating with a degree in accounting this week.

When Maguire was a 13-year-old in Montgomery, Texas, his father passed away. Shortly after that, his mother was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. Life’s difficulties led Maguire down a troubled road: He started struggling in school and made life choices he would take back if he could.

“If you asked any of my high school teachers, none of them would believe I’m where I am today,” he said. “All my classmates thought I was pretty dumb.”

Choosing a New Direction

His transformation began when Maguire took responsibility for the choices he made and realized they were leading him to an unfulfilling life. Deciding he no longer wanted to be the victim of his decisions, he worked to change his path. The first step was to join his sister in Colorado to begin with a clean slate.

“My life is because of my choices and how much energy I put behind my own choices,” he said. “I just needed to restart, go somewhere where nobody knew me, so I moved to Fort Collins.”

After transferring from Front Range Community College to CSU in 2017, Maguire started studying accounting, following in the same career as his father, who served as a CPA.

Maguire had a lot of help along the way in his pursuit of a degree and his goal of becoming a CPA. He feels a sense of gratitude toward everyone who assisted in piecing his life together, from his mother to his professors at CSU, all of who vitally contributed to his success during his time on campus.

“Kristen Reilly is just an angel,” he said of his accounting instructor. “If it wasn’t for her, I don’t think I would have made it through the accounting program.”

An Open Road

Reflecting on his past, Maguire admires how his father managed to rise through the ranks of his profession while simultaneously supporting his family’s needs. The memory of his father’s efforts helped Maguire chart his own course.

“I’m sure he would be super proud,” he said. “He always told me I could be anything I wanted to be, and I always believed that. I mean, he died [when I was] 13. I really jumped off the deep end and made a lot of poor choices, but he always told me that education is the one thing nobody can take away from you.”