Alumni, Master's Degree in Social Work
After my parents divorced, I began to struggle in school. My new broken at-home life definitely contributed to my depression. As a stubborn teenager, I did not seek help and/or talk about my feelings about their divorce. At the time, I felt betrayed and that what I felt did not matter. I began to miss many days of school from oversleeping past my alarms (a sign of depression), which led to my truancy issues. I never intended on skipping school and I was an A-average student athlete, before my parents' announcement flipped my world upside down. Accepting this new change/transition was my biggest barrier and it caused me to be misunderstood by school professionals. Instead of asking me about my sudden decline in attendance and grades, they chose to judge me by my actions. Instead of simply asking me what was going on, the counselor called me a "lost cause" during a school district meeting about my poor attendance. Being the only person of color in that room and fully embarrassed in front of superior school professionals who did not stand up for me - that was the moment I decided to prove her wrong and do better for myself! I worked hard to graduate, even though it was a year later than my anticipated graduation date. I moved on to a 2-year college (SUNY Orange) and was the first person in my immigrant family to receive a degree. I then transferred to a 4-year college (SUNY New Paltz) for my Bachelor's and went on to Binghamton University to finish up my Master's in Social Work. My message to all first generation students out there is: Anything is possible, even if others don't believe in you. All you need to do is, believe in yourself. Now I am a Social Worker helping others and most importantly, spreading kindness! I love how my journey pushed me into a career that supports and advocates on the behalf of individuals who face developmental, mental health, or other life challenges!