Apr 16 2018
“Sometimes life can take you in funny directions. Take mine for example. Child of a broken home, high school dropout, farm-boy with an abusive alcoholic father and equally abusive stepmother, living alone within my own little world, etc., etc. It has all the makings of a Greek tragedy just ripe for the telling. Yet, my life is no tragedy. It is one of love, belief, and salvation. Honestly, I never believed myself to be destined for great things. At 15 I dropped out of high school, but eventually returned so I could enlist in the military. A decision which led to my migration to New York from the deep south. A migration that also led to my 21-year career in Law Enforcement and my 24-year marriage to the greatest woman a man could ever hope to find. A wife who has always shown me that there was greatness in me, if only I chose to dig deep and find the resolve needed to allow it to manifest. She has pushed me to fight my battles with everything I have and destroy the inner demons that plague me. It is her influence that pushed me to return to school after 28 years, and her support that helps me to chase my dream of becoming an artist. She is the reason I strive to achieve greatness
Since my enrollment in the Summer 2017 semesters, I have earned a cumulative 4.0 GPA, and I am maintaining that standard in the current semester. Being awarded the EARN Grant is just one more in a long list of motivations for me to succeed as a student. For a person like me, who never took any interest in school as a teen, to have my scholastic achievements honored in such a way is life altering. David Keith , Jess Schust, Richard Rudden, and Pamela Lee Zurita have taken a chance on me, believed in me, and invested in me as a person. I will never be able to explain how grateful I am for this opportunity, and I will succeed. If for no other reason than I refuse to let them, my wife, or myself down. My life… It is not a tragedy. It is one of love, belief, and salvation…”
Nov 28 2017
A Wonderful sunny day to celebrate EARN Grant recipients for the Spring 2017 semester at Westchester Community College, Valhalla, NY. (L-R David Keith, EARN Founder; Ilene Lieberman, Director of Development at the WCC Foundation; three of our Grant recipients; Jessica Schust, EARN Board member).