Kingsborough Community College ASAP '12
I grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y., and my family was from Puerto Rico. My early education was pretty hard for me, and I had a hard time in school from the very start. I was the child that was always left back, and when I was in junior high school I had to start working at the age of 13 to help support my family. When I graduated from junior high school I didn’t attend high school. I dropped out and tried to work and finally, at the age of 20, I received my G.E.D. That diploma was always something that I felt I should never forget; I just had many things come up in my life that had to come first. My education was something I felt I should pursue. My family didn’t really feel it was a very important factor in life but I always felt it was. No one in my immediate family had ever attended college so it was my dream to try and achieve a college education.
When I was in a writing class in a SUNY school in Harlem, an ASAP representative came and spoke to everyone at that center. After the woman was finished speaking I ran right to her and said I really would love to try and do this. We met up again and she said the first thing I would have to do is apply to a CUNY community college, so I did—I applied to Kingsborough Community College and they accepted me. I had a couple of classes I had to take to be accepted to the ASAP program but the ASAP staff was so kind and helpful in helping me to achieve. I didn’t know what to expect because there had been so many times that I tried to go to college and it just never turned out well. However, when I started the ASAP program, everyone from the ASAP staff always made me feel so comfortable. Most of all, my advisor, Martha Greasley, gave me such great support. She always said, “Anna, you can do so much, you have it in you to achieve anything.” Everyone in the ASAP program also helped me so much when my mother passed away. It was such a heartbreaking moment for me because I had wanted her to see me graduate, but what I always loved about the ASAP program was how they all helped me see that I could still keep going. I feel in my heart that if it wasn’t for this program and the people in it, I might have given up.
I think ASAP has been the best experience I have ever had educationally. It has given me the opportunity to go on to further my education, and it has given me the tools that I need to be great. While in the ASAP program I went through very much personally. While my mother was alive she suffered from dementia and I would never really get much sleep. Most of my nights were spent sleeping on a chair while she was in and out of the hospital. Days were very hard, but because of the great schedule that the ASAP staff helped me with I was able to be with my mom and take care of her right up to her last day when she died. I also feel that the tutoring I received was very vital. I owe so much to ASAP and to the individuals that gave me the hope of knowing I can believe in myself. I also feel that I helped others see that if I can graduate, even with all that I went through, so can they. I met very great friends, and the two I think I will never forget will always know that they gave me inspiration also.
I will be graduating this coming June 12 and I will be receiving a Community Health and Gerontology degree from Kingsborough Community College. After that I’m planning on transferring to the College of Staten Island, where I will pursue my nursing degree. What I plan to focus on is the elderly population. I feel there is a great need for people in our communities to be patient and caring when it comes to the elderly. We all will grow old. I hope to work in a hospital but I also plan on starting programs for the elderly that give them a better understanding of how they can better their lives. Before my mom passed away she told me, “I know you will help so many people like me in the future and that makes me proud.” I hope to achieve these goals.