This post was written by Deborah Griffin, a recipient of the CUNY School of Professional Studies ACE Scholarship.

I am very grateful that I was selected as a recipient of the ACE Scholarship. This is a newly formed scholarship and I am proud to be in the first “class” of scholars. As a recipient of this scholarship I have the luxury of not having to worry about tuition for this last semester. The ACE Scholarship has also helped me grow and gave me the opportunity to “give back” through mentoring.

Returning to the classroom after such a long absence was daunting. I did not know what to expect, especially given that I was now attending online, and was quite a bit apprehensive. The first semester or two was very stressful as I learned how to navigate this new environment as well as manage my time so that assignments could be completed on-time. To be able to help a fellow student, one who may be experiencing the same stressors, was a very rewarding experience. The mentoring aspect of this scholarship helped me develop and use skills that can be applied to real world situations.

Working, raising a family, and completing a degree can be very stressful, difficult, and expensive to manage. Not having to worry about tuition for my last semester made completing the semester a bit less stressful and allowed me to focus more on what would come after graduation.

Getting my degree at CUNY School of Professional Studies and receiving the ACE Scholarship have opened opportunities for me that did not exist a few years ago. Having my hard work acknowledged, in the form of a scholarship, gave me the push I needed to seriously consider continuing my education and applying to a master’s program at CUNY School of Professional Studies.

The mentoring skills I acquired as part of the ACE Scholarship helped me see the importance of helping others without overstepping. It was a great feeling to think that I may have made someone’s initial experience at CUNY SPS a little less stressful.

Deborah Griffin is a recipient of the CUNY SPS ACE Scholarship, a scholarship program designed to support high-achieving undergraduate students Achieve College Education (ACE). She will graduate from the Business program at the end of this semester.