One of the most well -known cities in the country, Newark, NJ, is the place of my birth. Born and raised in Newark, I attended St. Mary’s Elementary School on what was known as High Street and St. Vincent’s Academy High School on West Market Street.
My life story is the catalyst towards the desire of wanting to continue my education. Attempts to further education at secular colleges were futile. Attending Catholic schools still lingered in my spirit. I wanted more than just being a mature 50 plus “tweenaged” student sitting in a classroom of young adults; I felt out of place.
While engaging in an internship as a drug and alcohol counselor at a local facility. A co-worker at the time was attending what was then known as Somerset Christian College now Pillar College. She spoke highly of the school and insisted I should try to understand my history of school choices.
My journey began in 2012, at Pillar, completing my bachelor’s degree in Psychology/ Counseling at Pillar College in 2017. A year later, once again a longing to advance in a study, I began to apply at various secular colleges online and in the community. But a voice (God) was beckoning me to return to Pillar. I stand completing the master’s degree program at the age of sixty-one years in Marriage and Family Counseling from Pillar College. A counseling career at the Salvation Army is where I recognized that incorporating a spiritual component into treatment is as equally important and a vital entity for change.
Providing essential support, Pillar College has promoted genuine faith, obedience, humility, selfless love, forgiveness, self-discipline, gratitude, and worship. A valuable resource, and an entrance to a world of knowledge, Pillar has taught me that I can stand on my own. The professors challenge me to go further beyond any measure that I thought I could not and grow.
Pillar has instilled hope; they have given me a voice; it has taught me to be courageous and speak out and advocate for what I believe in. To be a service to others just as the life of Jesus exemplifies. Pillar College has been a channel for the process of healing through my experiences with death, cancer, and other obstacles.
I asked many times over in class what plans I have upon completing school; my answer is that I need a campus the size of Rutgers—investing in opening a group home for the mentally ill, the first African American nursing home, a retreat for at-risk youth, women and of course a private practice.
My most notable accomplishment was finishing graduate school when many times I wanted to quit.