Gina Delgado

Gina DelgadoUndeterred by Disease

Gina Delgado knows what it is to be challenged. As a family advocate for the Mental Health Association of New York City, she made a living dealing with the difficulties that families face on a daily basis.

Then in 2004 she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system. By 2006, the disease no longer allowed her to work. She decided to make a change. “It had always been a lifelong dream to get my undergraduate degree, but life was always getting in the way,” says Delgado, who was born in New York City and now lives in the Bronx.

The single mom enrolled at Lehman College and pursued a bachelor’s degree in social work. But for Delgado, going back to school was much more than just a way to pass the time. “With MS, it’s important to keep myself and my brain stimulated,” she explains.

After arriving on campus, she became involved with the College's Office for Students with Disabilities. “They were a tremendous source of support for me and many other students,” she says.

Now that she’s graduating summa cum laude in the spring of 2011, Delgado, 46, is considering another challenge: whether to go on for a master’s in social work at Lehman.