Stephanie and Maria
"Thanks to Stephanie I have a plan."

Maria wasn't sure how she was going to pay for her college degree, but thanks to Stephanie, she now has a plan, and is on her way to an exciting and well paying career in Criminal Justice.

Maria Gallo & Stephanie Ruotolo

Maria had dropped out of high school, and now it was time to get back on the right path.

Maria was beginning to revisit some of the decisions she had made. The jobs she now wanted required a college degree, and she was still without a high school diploma.

Maria had heard that Bryant & Stratton College offered a program that would allow her to earn her GED and her associates at the same time.

After a lot of hard work, Maria received her GED and began working on her degree. Just as she was getting into the swing of things she was forced to take the summer semester off for personal reasons. As soon as she was able to come back she went to the financial aid office for a return interview. That’s when Maria met Stephanie. They came from very different backgrounds, but it was clear they had a lot in common.

The two women began to work on a plan that would finally earn that Criminal Justice degree that Maria wanted so badly.

They discussed Maria’s goals and dreams in great detail and even began mapping out a five-year plan for her to follow. In addition to her courses, Maria wanted a work study position. Stephanie, without hesitation, offered Maria one with her. It gave Maria the chance to earn some money - and it bought Stephanie some time to further mentor Maria. In addition to working out some goals and objectives, Stephanie taught Maria how to carry herself in a professional environment and how to perform during job interviews. Maria is now approaching her graduation and the two still work together and are both excited to see what the future holds.

Happy Endings

Maria earned her GED and will soon have her associate’s degree in criminal justice. Of her six siblings, Maria was the first to go to college.

Maria is on a path to a career in social work; her goal is to be an inspiration to troubled youth the way that Stephanie was to her.