Alumni: 95,000   Students: 16,000

Laura Black ’18

Laura Black ’18

What three words best describe who and what you are?
Motivated. Honest. Persistent.

What inspired you to earn your college degree? What was your “moment”?
To show my sons and my daughters that if mommy can do it then they can as well. No matter what gets in our way in life education should always come first.

Why did you choose to attend ESC?
ESC is affordable and it had the program I was looking for and second it is it the state I love and live in New York City what better way to earn a degree and be proud of where you come from.

Who supported and encouraged you along the way?
My husband and my sons (ages 19 and 15) who were screaming when I crossed that stage saying “ that’s my mommy” which made me proud.

What, if any, obstacles did you overcome?
As a child I was physically and mentally abused and grew up in the foster care system and as I became an adult I got involved with a man that abused me and I had to enter a domestic violence shelter to hide and get away from him. All of this made me strong and motivated me to earn my degree and help others overcome what I went through growing up.

What advice would you give to a prospective ESC student?
No matter what gets in your way, never give up. Say to yourself, “I came this far I can do it.” Determination is the key to success.

Why do you give back to SUNY Empire?
SUNY Empire offered me something that no other college would: a chance to do something with my life by earning my degree at the age of 40.

Anything else you would like to share?
I just want to say thank you to SUNY Empire State College.