Student Success Corner: Student’s Hardships Becomes Motivation

by Hannah Culliton


“I had a horrible, crappy childhood. I didn’t know if I was going to make it,” said Nicholas Foy.

Foy, who is 18 years old, was rescued from a tragic childhood by his adopted mother and is currently attending WCC, where he majors in early childhood education.

As one of 13 kids, Foy was born premature due to a drug and alcohol abusing mother. His parents could not take care of him nor give him the attention he needed as a newborn with special needs. He explained that someone called Child Protective Services and took most of the 13 children away and that his life changed for the better after that point.

“That was just the beginning of my journey,” said Foy.

For the next couple of years, he moved around from foster home to foster home until eventually his new mother adopted him on National Adoption Day, when he was 8 years old.

Throughout high school Foy said he was always involved in extracurricular activities in order to make friends and to get the most out of his high school experience. However, he went through hardships in high school as well.

“I was tormented,” he said. “I didn’t want to live anymore at one point. [This experience] made me really strong and [learn to] love life.”

Eventually, he realized that the bullies had no hold over him.

“Now I realize that I’m stronger, I’m better,” he said.

Because of some learning disabilities and a speech impairment, Foy was not ready to go to a four-year school after his senior year of high school, so he decided to enroll at WCC.

“A lot of my friends tell me they go [to school] and they go home. I said I’m not going to be one of those people. I’m going to go and I’m going to get involved,” said Foy.

That is exactly what he did. Foy began working at the food pantry giving out food to students who were in need of a meal. Then he met Debra Santora, the director of Single Stop, and began working at Single Stop.

“Everyone always says great things about the program; it’s a great department to work in,” he said.

Foy also became a member of the Student Government Association and expressed how WCC has changed his life, stressing the importance of getting involved in school activities and organizations.
Foy is going to school to become a teacher and eventually a school administrator but also has a dream to one day land a job on Broadway. He essentially wants to help children who are in the same situation that he was once in.

“Not everyone is going to be living on cotton balls and clouds. I actually thank God for the life that he gave me because I think it made me a stronger person as a whole. If I stayed in the situation I was in, I wouldn’t be here today,” he explained.

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