In the Spotlight: Leslie Mendez; Nursing Major and Transfer Student
Leslie Mendez is a new student at St. Francis College this year, transferring from LaGuardia Community College after earning an Associate's Degree in Psychology there earlier this year.
She is enrolled in the Nursing program with an aim to be a midwife after graduation.
Leslie recently shared her story of her journey to St. Francis College.
You're in the Nursing program now. Is this a career shift for you?
Yes. My first career was as a mom. I have six children. My oldest is 36. My youngest are 25 year old triplets. After they were born, they had some health issues, and I developed a much heavier interest in medicine than I had previously. I went on to get educated as a medical assistant. I worked that job for 12 years. And then, some life stuff happened. I got a divorce and I left Massachusetts and I moved up to New York. I decided it was my turn.
How did you decide to transfer to St. Francis?
There was an email from LaGuardia that Michael [Phillips, SFC Senior Admissions Counselor] would be there promoting SFC at a College Fair. The email said "you're a good fit for this based on your grades."
I met with Mike, and I listened to him talk about the family here. I just couldn't believe that that could be what a school was like. I graduated high school at 18 and had my first child one week after my 19th birthday. My kids have gone to college and I helped them with applications, but I didn't have a base of reference for what being a student of a college should feel like or be like.
The way Mike talked about St. Francis, when he spoke of this school I could hear in his voice how much he loved this school. This emanated from him. People here care about you. I then came home and did my own research. He was not lying. I was excited to attend a school that would not just educate me in my chosen field, but also in all the parts of who I am mentally, physically and spiritually.
I continued to keep in touch with Mike. I met with people in the Nursing Department before I was a student. I learned to be a consumer of a college education instead of someone who just landed at a college for an education.
What is one of the most positive and rewarding experiences since you transferred to St. Francis College?
It amazes me that people know who I am. They know my name, students and faculty alike. My experience with the professors so far has been much the same, they want to see you to succeed and they go out of their way to help you, and make sure you understand the material. I have embraced the St. Francis family 110%. I have an on-campus job in the Center for Academic Success, I joined the Nursing club, I have applied to become a student ambassador and hope to make the Dean's list. The students of St. Francis are a diverse group and I think that need to be represented.