Sage Maguire, who was honored last year as the Teen of the Year by The Sentinel and UPMC Pinnacle, offered advice to this year’s honorees.
“College isn’t about being like everybody else. It’s about carving a path for yourself and becoming who you want to become,” she said.
Maguire knows what she’s talking about.
Last fall, she went to Gettysburg College with the intent to major in biochemistry and molecular biology. Next fall, she’ll be heading to Penn State Harrisburg to major in psychology with the goal of pursuing a graduate degree in clinical psychology with a focus on trauma.
“I’m really excited to be part of the Nittany Lion family. My brother graduated from there two weeks ago,” she said.
Maguire jumped into life at Gettysburg with both feet. She was offered a position in research with the head of the neuroscience department, became a teacher’s assistant for biology classes, joined four clubs and started working at Weis as a cake decorator, “which was very unexpected,” she said.
“Not an hour of the day was spent doing anything but school or work,” Maguire said.
Along the way, a professor suggested she take a psychology course, and that changed her direction.
“I just ended up falling in love with it. That’s how I decided what I want to do with the rest of my life,” Maguire said.
Tears cascaded down Amanda Reisinger’s face as her daughter Sage Maguire was named Teen of the Year Wednesday at UPMC Pinnacle Carlisle.
Being named Teen of the Year and receiving the $5,000 was essential to Maguire’s ability to attend college. As a “really big financial aid recipient,” Maguire said the family wasn’t sure they would be able to cover the last bit of funding needed for college.
“This is actually how I was able to go to school,” she said.
Speaking to the Teen of the Week Class of 2019, Maguire said she remembered sitting in the back row at last year’s ceremony and comparing her accomplishments to those of other students being honored.
“When my name was called, I literally couldn’t believe my ears. My dream of going to college was coming true,” she said.
She told the students it was OK not to fit in with the crowd because they are the ones who decide who they become in college and in life.
Taking a cue from Mahatma Gandhi’s advice to be the change you want to see in the world, Maguire offered her own advice to the students who will soon be heading off to college.
“I encourage you also to be the change you wish to see in yourself,” she said.