"Once I started school at Monroe, I came to believe I could accomplish anything."
Prior to becoming a student at Monroe, Hattie Hightower recruited students from the college as a customer service manager for Uniqlo, a fashion retailer based out of Japan. But when the retailer moved their corporate offices to New Jersey, Hattie saw her opportunity to finish school and be a role model for her two small daughters.
“I always heard from the students I met how much they loved going to school at Monroe, so I figured if I were to return to school, that's where I would go.” Through the Career Pathways program, Hattie earned her GED equivalency and is pursuing her associate degree in business management. She expects to graduate in 2020 and is already enrolled to in the bachelor’s degree in business program, with plans to minor in psychology. Hattie is a member of the National Leadership and Excellence Club
“Although going back to school was challenging, I had a lot of support. There are plenty of team members and professors at Monroe who believe in you and push you to be the best version of yourself. I’m proud of my accomplishments.”
In addition to school, Hattie started her own fitness business, Fresh Soul Fitness. She provides classes through Job Corps and 500 Men Making a Difference, a non-profit group that focuses on community service throughout the five boroughs and Long Island.
One of the biggest benefits of school is the chance to try new things, says Hattie. “I used to feel my job was it. Monroe has been the kicker for me to find my passions and discover my talent. I have a clearer vision of where I want to be and I no longer feel trapped in a job.”
“At first, it was hard transition because I was so much older than the other students and I was embarrassed. But, I’ve earned the respect of my peers and I’m a role model to them. It’s never too late to get your degree.”