Rosse Mary Savery immigrated to New York from the Dominican Republic when she was only eight years old. Her plan was to achieve success and obtain an education. However, after graduating with honors from Washington Irving High School, she had to leave Eastern Michigan University, due to her scholarship’s term limits.
Later, as the mother of two daughters in Florida, she had to put her education aside. When she lost her employment, her husband’s salary couldn’t pay the bills. So the family decided to move to New York, where Savery and her husband could finish their studies.
When she enrolled at Queens College, her family lived in a homeless shelter in Brownsville, Brooklyn. “I was very grateful for the shelter, because we had a roof to live under; however, it was very unpleasant,” said Savery, 35. “I felt as if we were in a jail where families were treated like delinquents -- and at the same time violence and drugs surrounded us. “
With the help of faculty at Queens College, Savery, a Sociology major, was able to complete the spring semester. She accumulated a GPA of 3.93 while she worked part-time as a teacher’s aide for a public school in Queens. Her family was able to leave the shelter and now lives in an apartment in Queens.
“Being perseverant has permitted me to achieve success. Also, I am blessed with a family that is always supporting me,” said Savery. “My husband always encourages me emotionally and physically and has pushed me to be the person I am today.
“It’s fundamental to have a list of all your goals and to carry them out one at a time. Despite how difficult it may seem, you have to give it your all,” said Savery. “My major obstacle was organizing my time to maintain my good grades, be there for my daughters, work, and to take care of my house.”
After she graduates this August, Savery plans to continue her studies and to become a social worker. “It’s not where it starts, but where it ends with perseverance, hope, and a positive attitude. Surround yourself with the ones who believe in you and support you,” said Savery.