I grew up in a small community in Western New York State. I was aware that less than half of my high school classmates went on to a four year college or university. I was one of two students who attended college outside of New York State.
While I don't recall my college experience emphasizing first-generation students, paramount in my large Italian family were the values of education, strong work ethic, and community engagement. As the 5th child in the family, my older siblings played a critical role in my education; from college visits, to Parent Weekend overnights, they paved the way for success in college and were there to help me handle setbacks.
I was easily and naturally drawn to the environment of education, from elementary and middle school teacher, to camp director, exchange student coordinator, and now college admission reader. I am most interested in young people and championing their individual paths to success and happiness.