Matt Ghigliotti – helping others and working hard
Meet Matthew Ghigliotti. Matt is currently studying Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration (HVAC-R) at Vatterott College in Kansas City, MO thanks in part to a work ethic scholarship from the mikeroweWORKS Foundation. He plans to graduate in December of this year. And since he’s maintained a position on Vatterott’s President’s list with a GPA of 4.0 since arriving, we feel pretty confident that’s a plan worth banking on.
Matt grew up in Norman, OK on a little homestead with a one acre garden. There were goats, cows, pigs, chickens, a creek and lots of woods to explore. “It was kinda like a boy scout camp 24/7!”
For as long as Matt can remember, more than anything else, he wanted to be a dad. “The biggest contributing factor was probably my mom, who taught me to value people over things.” He is one of nine siblings and Matt’s mom homeschooled them all. “She always told me she didn’t care what I chose to be, as long as I was a good person.” That was good news, since Matt had trouble choosing what he wanted to be.
At the age of 17 he became a self-described “professional student.” His interests varied immensely. From landscape design to theoretical physics, from engineering to culinary arts, Matt studied whatever he could, taking to heart item number nine of the Sweat Pledge – I will never stop learning. One thing he was certain of was his strong desire to be of service to others. This came from his mother’s example. “Even though times were often hard, she would always help anyone in any way she could.”
It was this desire that led him to join the Oklahoma Army National Guard. “I wanted to offer myself to serve my country.” And serve he did. Matt did two tours, one in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. In between deployments he was attending a four-year University majoring in psychology with a pre-med track. He had served his country. Now he planned to serve his fellow man.
At this point you must be wondering how a guy who set out to help others, was serving in the military while studying to be a medical professional came to be a mikeroweWORKS work ethic scholarship recipient, right?
Matt says there were two realizations – “The people in the medical field who got to spend the most time with their patients were the ones at the bottom of the ladder, and also paid the least. If I climbed the career ladder to make more money, I would give up what I enjoyed most about my job. It was a lose-lose situation.”
The second realization was that no matter what job he held, he would be helping others – “If it wasn’t something they needed or wanted, (Fixing an air conditioner, for instance) they wouldn’t be paying their hard earned dollars for someone to help them with it.” Matt now helps others by understanding people’s needs and doing his best work to provide them with the highest value for their dollar.
Matt lives in Kansas City with his wife and two children in a house he rebuilt with knowledge he acquired at “Google and YouTube University.” Never stop learning, Matt.