Alumni: 95,000   Students: 16,000

Maria Grimaldi ’18

Maria Grimaldi ’18
Delaware Valley Job Corps
Career Transition Specialist

What three words best describe who and what you are?
Empowered. Dedicated. Professional.

What inspired you to earn your college degree? What was your “moment”?
The need to level the playing field between building vibrant healthy communities and economic development. The disparity between the rich and poor continues to grow and the poor are left out of the conversation. I wanted to become empowered to understand the workings of government and learn the tools to analyze policies and the effects upon society and the environment. My “moment” was when I put it all together defend my argument on the effects of public policy on food insecurity.

Why did you choose to attend ESC?
ESC offered the Community and Economic Development(CAED) which was exactly what I was looking for. Initially, I thought I would end up in the planning department of my county government. Instead I am working hands-on with disadvantaged youth in Job Corps, a program begun during the “War on Poverty” and “The Great Society” efforts of the late 60’s and 70’s. Working during my course of study I took Work Force Development and Social Entrepreneurship, both of these disciplines I apply daily in my job.

Who supported and encouraged you along the way?
Co-workers,family, friends and the faculty of ESC, especially Dr.Joseph Angiello and the fine team of instructors who made the subjects interesting and challenging.

What, if any, obstacles did you overcome?
There were some time management issues when working almost full time that slowed down my final project and of course the inevitable financial issues.

What advice would you give to a prospective ESC student?
Look over the curriculum carefully and decide if it fits your professional career goals.

Why do you give back to SUNY Empire?
Education is the key to building that “Great Society” in the “War on Poverty.” I feel further empowerment due to broadening my outlook and understanding of government and policy. I hope to instill the importance of public education into the students I work with every day.

How has your experience at ESC changed your life since graduation?
I have become much more socially conscience and aware of the disparities between the rich and powerful and the poor. Since the 2016 election took place during my CAED program, I applied my views in my Leadership paper to “From the Art of the Deal, to the Art of Leadership” Now I can watch my hypothesis evolve into a reality TV show.

Anything else you would like to share?
Thank you, keep up the good work!