Matt, tell us about your family, growing up and high school, please: I grew up in the small town of Goose Lake, Iowa. Family and friends are very important to me. My parents, Kevin and Lynn Cain did a great job with instilling good morals and keeping my head on straight, and I have always been very strong in my faith. I have one brother, Adam, a senior at Northeast High School. I graduated from there in 2012 and was a multi-sport athlete in high school: A captain in basketball, a four-year starter in baseball, and a state qualifier in track. Also, I was president of the student body, president of SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions), and a member of FBLA.
We understand you started at UNI. What got you interested in Kirkwood?: I did a visit to Kirkwood as a junior in high school while my cousin was an Ambassador here. I was interested at the time, but I still was not sure of what I wanted to do with my life. At high school graduation, I still was very unsure. I had done multiple college visits and when it came to my decision, I chose The University of Northern Iowa. I selected a major that sounded somewhat interesting and had a couple friends up there. About half way through my freshman year at UNI, I decided to drop my major in Exercise Science. Over spring break last year, I was talking to my dad and my brother and we got on the topic of firefighting. I knew Kirkwood had a program for that and so I re-applied for this program, came to do one more visit and ran with it.
What got you interested in the Fire Science career path?: I have been a volunteer fire fighter in Goose Lake for four years now and I have loved every minute of it. I finally realized I have a true passion for the field. A full-time firefighter is what I have been called to do in my life.
We know you’ve just been at Kirkwood a little while….but what have been some favorite times so far?: Definitely, it is getting involved with the Student Life. It is such a great atmosphere in the office, and everyone is so welcoming. They are all genuinely great people to be around and look up to.
Where do you see yourself in five years? Where could you be, what will you be doing?: It is very realistic to say I will have a full time job as a firefighter in five years. Where? That is a complete mystery because the competition is tough and very competitive. I plan on testing and applying for any fire department that has application periods open and see where I land, but I would love to stay in the Midwest.