I’m Italian and I like to talk a lot, so I was told to keep this short. But, really it’s an honor to speak today. I’d like to thank Mr. and Mrs. Maguire, Ms. Holdsman, and the Maguire Foundation for the honor of speaking. I look forward to this luncheon every year. My name is Michael Giangiordano, and I am currently a Senior in the LeBow College of Business at Drexel University, with majors in Finance and Economics, enrolled in the 4-year Co-Op program. I am a South Philadelphia native and a 2012 alumnus of St. Joe’s Prep as well as a 2008 alumnus of St. Nicholas of Tolentine in South Philly. I am honored to be here and it is a great privilege to be a Maguire Scholar.
I’d like to focus my speech today around two central themes that I see as important to Mr. and Mrs. Maguire, the Maguire Foundation and me and they are entrepreneurship and Catholic education.
Like Mr. Maguire, my family has a strong sense of entrepreneurship. My great-grandfather came to America from Italy with a vision to make a better life for his family. He came with little to no money in his pocket. In spite of this, he started his own business here in America. My grandfather did the same as did my father. Mr. Maguire started his own business as well. All of these people have inspired me to start my own business and I believe that entrepreneurship is in my blood. They inspired me to fill a need for people. For these and many reasons, I recently launched my own business that began with an idea to make residential rental tenants more informed. It is a tech company called Rental Rater. It will be the tenant rating website for residential rentals. The Maguire Foundation has given me the opportunity to attend a university like Drexel that places great emphasis on new entrepreneurial ventures. One program is the Dean’s Student Advisory Board mentoring program in LeBow where I was paired with an alumnus and she and her husband. Together, they have been a great asset in supporting my venture.. This would not have been possible without the support of the Maguire Foundation and being a Maguire Scholar.
When I first thought about college, I thought that the professor and student were distant from each other. Professors stood at the front of the room and lectured to you and that was it. I found that to be very different when I visited Drexel and when I attended. The word that comes to mind is family. We are very much a family. A family that is similar to the family that formed in my Catholic upbringing at St. Nick’s and the Prep. The Maguire Foundation has put a great emphasis in supporting Catholic education and I can say that I honestly am in part the person that I am today because of my Catholic foundation. I appreciate the strong emphasis and support of Catholic education by Mr. and Mrs. Maguire. I have such strong faith and commitment that I remain very committed and active in my parish church and school, St. Nick’s. I serve as a lector at Mass as well as a member of both our annual Italian festival committee and a member of our alumni committee. I have a strong commitment and involvement as well at the Prep. My desire to keep Catholic education strong also inspired me to seek an internship with the Archdiocese to fundraise for our Catholic elementary schools in South Philly. I am currently doing this internship. Once again, the Maguire Foundation is supporting students like myself and for that I am forever grateful.
Mr. and Mrs. Maguire, I hope that these stories can serve as a humble thank you. A thank you in which I am forever indebted to you. I hope that one day soon I can be in the very same position that you are, supporting students such as myself to reach their dreams. Thanks again for allowing me to speak today, and I hope that you enjoy the rest of the reception.