Student Success Corner: Suzanne Chadwick

by Gustavo Comonian


Suzanne Chadwick, a Human Services student here at WCC, has a troublesome past, a story to share with other students at the college to give them hope that things can always get better no matter what you are passing through.

Suzanne decided to go back to school in 2013, at that same time she was not in a good relationship. “It’s September of 2014 and I’m still living with this person, going through the cycle of abuse. I had gotten pretty hurt one night and I still had to go to class the very next day. I managed to get myself there…” said Suzanne, who on that same day started sharing her problems with another student of her same age group.

From that she started to seek advice from counselors and other people. She ended up talking to Debra Santora and Christine Carbone who work in an office in the Gateway Building which has the solely purpose of helping students with their life outside campus. Debra Santora and Christine Carbone are located in the Gateway Building rooms 134 and 136 respectively.

Suzanne got her help with housing so she could leave that abusive relationship to concentrate on her studies for the moment. Not only has Suzanne been able to continue in school but also she has managed to keep a 4.0 GPA throughout all this difficult time, something that she doesn’t even know how to explain.

“Debra was basically my guide, to lead me toward different resources that could help me through this situation. Just knowing that they [Debra and Christine] were there just kept me going, the fact that they were always there for me, even if just to drop by and talk to them about what was going on on my life, has been a lifesaver.” She was also directed to the security office on campus for some basic information on law and a legal department with a very helpful and supportive lawyer.

“You feel lost in some situations, and coming to school is already hard and stressful enough, and when you are going through something and you feel alone, some people might just drop out and not finish what they started, so I think that having these two “helpers” here is just fabulous, I love them, I really do. They have been so helpful!” Suzanne has also been going to My Sister’s Place, in White Plains, where she goes to counseling and also gets some extra help on basic supplies.

Suzanne is now in a much better situation thanks to all the help she got from Santora and Carbone, and she has a message that she want to give to all students of WCC who may be passing through tough times, or even little problems that sometimes make people want to give up, her message is – “If this is a passion, a dream, or something you want for your life, life is going to happen, and things will get in your way, but no matter what you are going through there are people out there that can help you and there are resources for you to use, so don’t be shy to ask for help. Know that this is just temporary and there is always an option, there is always a way to go through it. Never give up!”

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