Karol Rubiano

Karol Rubiano photo

Karol Rubiano

03/09/2022 | AuthorNCC 

SUNY Nassau's Valedictorian of the Class of 2021

I decided to go back to school after a long absence and SUNY Nassau seemed like the perfect place. The location was convenient, it was priced fairly, and I knew it was a great place from the recommendations I received from the community. My own experience at the College was outstanding, too. The curriculum was challenging, and I feel like it prepared me for upper-level classes in social work. The professors were knowledgeable and accessible to answer questions. I was also able to join clubs which allowed me to connect with some of the advisors and others in my program. Overall I had a very positive experience.

There are so many instances that stand out, but I remember hugging my math teacher after acing the final exam. Math has always been a challenge for me and finally understanding and enjoying math was amazing. They never gave up or were frustrated by my slow progress. I also remember going to the math center and being helped by the staff in a kind and empathetic manner. It made a huge difference!

My experience as valedictorian was a "dream”. Knowing that my story felt worthwhile enough to share was very emotional for me. I am very open about my challenges with trauma and mental health. I find that there is a strength and humanity in vulnerability. Having the ability to tell people about my life and having people relate was validating. It was nerve wracking too! Following my speech I received a few interview requests and was happy to be a voice for anyone who has gone through similar things. The experience has influenced me to become an advocate for mental health justice.

I am currently at the Silver School of Social Work at New York University as a transfer student in my second semester. I hope to earn my BSW and go on to grad school to earn my MSW. I then hope to earn the practical experience needed to be licensed as an LCSW specializing in trauma centered therapy.

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