Alumni: 84,000   Students: 17,000

Sandra Washington ’18

Sandra Washington ’18
Racker Centers
Residential House Manager

What three words best describe who and what you are?
Determined. Focused, Joyful.

What inspired you to earn your college degree? What was your “moment”?
When I moved to this area from Rochester my goal was to just get job! After working with the Racker Centers for almost 11 years, watching the positive impact I had on the individuals I supported daily, I wanted to move into position that would have the greatest influence of advocating on behalf of my clients with mental and intellectual challenges. As a House Manager, I could attend meetings and convey their plans, desires and dreams. For some to live independent in the common and find a job, for others quality of life to be meaningful and happy. My next future position moves will be a Regional Director then the Director Racker’s Residential program. I started with Racker in 2001 and l still love what I do. This is a career not a job anymore.

Why did you choose to attend ESC?
ESC is convenient with the options of independent and online studies. I loved not rushing from work to a classroom setting although you will need to be a self-starter with support.

Who supported and encouraged you along the way?
I had a lot of support but the one with the greatest impact is my husband Greg. He made himself available on the road as a truck driver to help me talk through real world issues in the human service sector. He is a former youth corrections officer for NYS.

What, if any, obstacles did you overcome?
My obstacles were staff shortages at work which meant working OT when I really did not want to. Some of the classes that were a requirement were not interesting to me. Boring reading for my final two semesters.

What advice would you give to a prospective ESC student?
Do not give up on your dreams of a higher education no matter what occurs. Yes, you will earn a degree but most importantly you will have proven to yourself, you are a finisher and not a quitter.

Why do you give back to SUNY Empire?
ESC gave me a future that makes me the navigator of my dreams.

How has your experience at ESC changed your life since graduation?
My experience at ESC opened to door to careers that I had not thought about.

Anything else you would like to share?
A good school for anyone looking to advance in their career.