Alumni: 84,000   Students: 17,000

Hope Stanger ’16

Hope Stanger ’16
Holistic Health Counselor
Therapy Beyond Walls

What three words best describe who and what you are?
Emphatic. Committed. Advocate.

What inspired you to earn your college degree? What was your “moment”?
My moment came when I attended an art exhibit at the ESC Gallery by a friend who went back to finish her degree. Standing and viewing her powerful images, I knew I wanted to go back and complete a journey started and stopped long ago. I went into the office of a guidance counselor to ask about my next steps, and she inspired me to believe I could do it.

Why did you choose to attend ESC?
Everything about the school made sense for me. ESC was on my radar for a number of years but the timing was not yet there until that “aha” moment. I wanted to be able to give myself all the advantages that would allow me to get my degree in psychology (which I had started 31 years before!) while still feeling balanced and soaring in the rest of my life.

Who supported and encouraged you along the way?
I love having the opportunity to ‘name names’ as I answer this question: Marianne Arieux – my first mentor and eventual professor. Mara Mills – my professor throughout. Jen Spitz -my mentor. All of whom I now consider friends. These 3 women were my tribe of support. They saw who I was and encouraged my greatness.

What, if any, obstacles did you overcome?
The first took place right before I was about to start school; I was hit by a car while walking. I had 3 broken bones in my face, two in my leg and the trauma from the accident. I was told I needed surgery immediately, but instead decided to go home and heal my body and spirit from a holistic perspective, which I did – fully and completely. The only other obstacle was a lifetime of believing I couldn’t do it; that there was no way I would be able to finish school with my degree because there was no prior proof I ever had. Not only was my GPA at ESC a 4.0, but I also wrote a series of PLA’s that were granted for my prior learning.

What advice would you give to a prospective ESC student?
Believe you can, because this is your time to shine! Reach out for support – ESC is holding arms wide open to help you succeed. Pause, breathe and do something you love each day.

Why do you give back to SUNY Empire?
Because I think SUNY Empire is the most extraordinary college and I want everyone to know this!

Anything else you would like to share?
Gratitude!