Despite the enormous presence that higher education institutions have in our society today, it wasn’t too long ago that many families sacrificed everything they had to finance a college education for their children. One example of a first generation college graduate is Joseph M. Mattone Sr., who the Queens Courier recently picked as its “Man of the Year.” According to the Courier, “When Mattone’s grandparents arrived in New York from Italy, it was with the hope of a better life for their children and generations of their family to come.” Such was the dream that many immigrants shared, and one that would prove to influence Mattone tremendously.
In the Courier’s profile of Mattone’s achievements, it is clear that education has played a huge role in shaping his life. Mattone’s parents made enormous sacrifices so that they could provide him with the funds for an education. Eventually, after working his way through New York City’s public school system, he became the first person in his family to earn both an undergraduate and law degree from St. John’s University.
Throughout his professional career and in his personal life, Mattone has promoted education and philanthropy, knowing first hand the power that both have in shaping future generations. He has achieved much success throughout his life, but is the first to admit that providing for his children, including Carl Mattone and Michael Mattone who both work for the family business. Mattone Sr. has always tried to instill the value of education in his children and grandchildren, and is a role model for hard work and scholastic achievement in the family.
Mattone was named the Courier’s “Man of the Year” for myriad reasons, but perhaps the most important is the way in which despite adversity, and despite garnering enormous financial success, Mattone has always allowed himself to be guided by his family’s pursuit of the American Dream. “It was [his] work ethic, coupled with a dedication to education, that provided the foundation for Mattone’s successful career,” explains the Courier. Indeed, “Man of the Year” Joseph M. Mattone Sr.’s accomplishments are the realization of his grandparents’ hope to achieve the quintessential American Dream.
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