My story begins as a parent – a parent worried that I didn’t have the knowledge needed to guide my only daughter through the college process. And there was the fear of how to pay for it, too! She was still in middle school but I knew I had lots to learn.
So, I began asking other parents about their experiences; I got to know the guidance counselors; I joined groups that put me in touch with professionals; I pulled the parents of my daughter’s classmates along with me. The local PTA became a platform and I slowly became a resource for others. I accepted an administrative assistant position in the Financial Aid Office at a local college. The Director embraced my enthusiasm and pushed me to learn.
I joined my first professional association, NYSFAAA (New York Financial Aid Administrators Association) and then EASFAA (Eastern Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators). I loved my job of helping students and families through the financial aid process! I made the leap to complete my BA and included targeted internships in college admissions at Hartwick College, Early Awareness initiatives at NYS Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) and spent a semester working in the office of the Chair of the Education Committee of the NYS Assembly in Albany. My mission was to learn all I could, and to make a difference. I think I did.
I was offered a job as Assistant Director of Financial Aid at Siena College even before I graduated! This was the beginning of a love affair. During the past 17 years in financial aid, I have also had the opportunity to work for lending partners that assist families in financing a college education along side the professionals in college financial aid offices. During my deep involvement in our professional asociations, I fell for another love – my husband Larry. Larry, at the time, was Director of Government Relations for NASFAA – the National Association of Financial Aid Administrators.
While leaning on my Albany experiences, Larry taught me to walk the halls of our Nation’s Capitol with the message that financial aid funding must be preserved. I met Higher Education colleagues at One Dupont Circle – the engine that stokes education advocacy in DC and participated in legislative activities like Negotiated Rule Making (the rules that are eventually attached to laws passed by Congress). In 2005, Larry and I decided Washington was a wonderful place to work but our heart lingered on Keuka Lake.
I moved back to NY to oversee the building of our Beaver Mountain log home and this past September, Larry came home, too. I return with a bag of knowledge and that same desire to help others. I am passionately committed to financial aid and I’d be honored be help you find your way along the financial aid path.