Being a mom is supposed to be all sunshine, rainbows, and gifts, but it certainly wasn’t the case for Marie Russo over four decades ago, “I was forced to leave high school due to my pregnancy. I was given up on, thrown away, told I had ruined my life and would never amount to anything.”
Despite having everything against her, Marie kept working in several jobs while keeping the promised she had made to her mom, to complete a college degree. Marie worked as a massage therapist, esthetician, and even as a desairologist in a funeral home. Her true passion was definitely helping others and serving her community, “I believe we all have very individual unique gifts in life and my gift has always been to extend my hand to one in need and help bridge the gap from despair to hope. After exploring my options for college, I decided upon The College of Westchester. I now have been given the opportunity to be in the field that I have dreamed of entering over the years: The field of Health Care Education where I can grow and touch the lives of many in a positive way,” says Marie.
It’s never too late to aspire to earn a college degree, and Marie and her entire family celebrated this amazing and unique moment during CW’s commencement ceremony. As a student speaker, Marie concluded, “Now in a few short moments I will walk across this stage and with pride and dignity accept this degree and fulfill a promise I made to my mother 42 long years ago. It’s never too late to give up on a dream. If you believe it, you can achieve it.”