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Graduation is a Special Life Moment for L&C student

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Article by: Dan Brannan, Riverbender.com, dbrannan@riverbender.com

GODFREY - Alton’s Matt Maag has had a lot of special moments in his young life, but he experienced another one this past week with Lewis and Clark Community College’s graduation.

Matt proudly wore the Phi Theta Kappa white cord with his cap and gown. He graduated with an associate’s degree in computer graphics. Matt, a soft-spoken, but engaging and positive personality, has been a standout in multiple sports over the years in Special Olympics. Matt is also a talented percussionist and was a member of the Alton Marching 100 in high school.

Matt is the son of Greg and Lisa Maag. Matt has never let an autism diagnosis stop him. He has used what he has learned through the process to help many others in similar situations. He is an ambassador for Special Olympics and has won state championships in multiple sports. He participates in swimming, track, basketball, and bowling.

Matt described the graduation as “a once-in-a-lifetime experience."

“I was proud of my achievements and I also wore the Phi Theta Kappa white cord, which represents graduating with honors. I like to do the special activity events and hang out with my friends.”

Matt said he couldn’t even put into words how much Special Olympics competition has meant to his life, with the number of friendships he has made and how it has helped his confidence.

“It changes the way I live my everyday life,” he said. “I work out at Nautilus Fitness Center and it helps give me the energy to conduct my workouts and live my life.”

No one was more proud of Matt than his mother, Lisa, and father, Greg, at the L&C graduation.

Lisa Maag smiled the entire graduation, Matt and his sister, Madelyne, said.

“My mom has supported me ever since day one,” Matt said. “She has always wanted me to be as successful as possible. She hugged me very tightly after the graduation; that meant a lot to me. She was very proud.”

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