Matt Goodenough ’09
Firefighter paramedic, El Segundo, Calif.
“What being a Lancer means to me is that you’re part of a strong community that will move you forward into a successful direction, spiritually, emotionally and intellectually.
“When someone asks me what I take away from Saint Francis, BRIC is always my answer. Bringing hope, respecting others, inspiring integrity and celebrating family. Brother Sam was the one who instilled that in me, and it’s been something that’s always been on the forefront. I even brought it up at my interview for a job in public safety.
“I have two kids now, and I want to be a good role model by showing them integrity and ethics. That’s huge because in the first responder family, we treat strangers as if they’re our own. They are calling for our help and inviting us into their home when they need help, and there’s the expectation that we work with integrity. By bringing hope, you’re inspiring others to keep them motivated and engaged.
“My wife and I come from big families, and we’re just starting our family, and in the fire service, we spend a third of the year together. So we have our fire service family and celebrating that camaraderie reflects the family that Saint Francis talks about, of having a connected community.
“I remember my freshman year I was new and didn’t know too many people, except for a couple of water polo athletes from middle school. I had English with Ms. Ashley Hill and I remember being taken care of by her. Teachers like Ms. Hill would bring you under their wing to show what the community at Saint Francis is about. That was a formidable experience.
“I had a good foundation, and it comes back to the teachers and counselors. They are people who give tools to kids to learn how to mature. It boils down to those core values of BRIC. Embracing BRIC values has led me to a successful career where I have received honors such as a Medal of Valor and Firefighter of the Year with the agency that I work with. I have a beautiful family, and I’m successful at work because of those things that Saint Francis taught.”