Alumni: 89,000   Students: 17,000

Tonia Thornton ’13

Tonia Thornton

Tonia Thornton ’13
Parent Services Referral Specialist
Child Care Solutions

Why did you choose Empire State College? What do you think is the best thing about the college?
I chose Empire state college because it really caters to non traditional students. I needed to continue working full time to support my family and I liked the variety of classes and modalities of learning. I was impressed with the college’s emphasis on “THEIR STUDENTS”. I think the best thing about the college is the fact that students are in control of their journey.

How did Empire State College help you shape your personal and professional goals?
The college, no the staff took a vested interest in ME. My Mentors listened to me and gave me a slot of support. Well, I actually had two mentors. My second Mentor Desalyn DeSouza was my biggest cheerleader. She really understood me and always encouraged me to hang in there and to keep pushing. She allowed me to be HUMAN and WEAK and HONEST and yet always treated me with respect and dignity. Her expertise as a mentor was CRUCIAL in my success.

What is your career highlight or proudest career moment to date?
At one point I was the Coordinator of a Department and felt like I was truly making a difference. The highest point of my career so far has been being an intricate part of a department that continually is changing to meet the needs of families in the community. I am very proud to be doing what I do and I know for fact that we make a positive impact on families. Also, I have been sitting on a Board of Directors for a large not for profit in our County and I work on a couple different Advisory Councils in the community.

What advice would you give to a current Empire State College student?
HANG IN THERE and ASK LOTS OF QUESTIONS!!! Get to know your Mentor and instructors. Those relationships will make or break your experience. Reach out to other students in your classes and build support groups via social media…getting together outside of school… etc… Build bridges and keep your GOAL in mind… ITS WORTH IT !!

Anything else you would like to share with fellow alumni and students?
I have made some very dear, dear friends through my experience at Empire State College and it has been such a pleasure to walk the journey of life with you all. I count myself BLESSED to have you in my life…. Empire State College gave me more than an education, it gave me RELATIONSHIPS that have impacted my life and contributed in molding me to be THE BEST ME THERE IS!!!!