Suzanne Greva - Vice President of Finance, Accounting and Business Services
I am a first-generation college graduate. My route to degree completion was not direct or without wrong turns. But I persisted and it is one of my greatest achievements.
I was raised in a family of working-class immigrants. My mom’s side were Sicilian fishermen and my dad’s side were Polish ironworkers. College was the last thing on my parents’ mind. My dad did not finish high school but did get his GED many years later. So, when I was considering college, my parents did not have the first-hand experience to assist me in choosing a college, a major or obtaining aid to make it affordable.
I tried community college. I transferred to a four-year college and studied architectural engineering. But, without the foundation of good study habits, I got poor grades and dropped out. I took a five-year break from school and discovered that I loved accounting. I decided I really wanted to go back to school and get my bachelor’s degree. I had to go back to community college to work on my requirements. The advisors there helped me develop my educational plan and the financial aid office was very helpful in educating me on how to afford school. I was able to transfer to a 4-year college and complete my degree shortly after my 30th birthday.
I have gone on to have a wonderful career in accounting with much of it in Higher Education. I am happy to say that I am just the first in my family to earn a bachelor’s degree. Both of my children have earned their bachelor’s degrees and my daughter is now studying for her MA. It is my goal at CCA to help others achieve the academic success that I was able to achieve.
It is my hope that first-generation students at CCA know that there is a large support system in place at the college to help them navigate their way to degree completion. My advice is to have faith in yourself and your abilities, know that you do belong here and be persistent. You can do this!