Adult Learner Succeeding in College Setting
Gladys Mercado, a 31-year-old student at Goodwin College, enrolled in the Human Services program to better the lives not only of her three children, but those she will affect in her career as a Human Service professional as well. As a mother, college student, member of multiple honor societies, and full-time district aide for Congressman John B. Larson, Mercado dedicates herself to each facet of her life and has a clear vision for her future.
She sets the bar of achievement high for her sons. “I am teaching them to push past excuses. There will always be hurdles,” she said, “but you need to overcome them.” One obstacle that has proven considerable for Mercado is a lack of personal transportation to school, but that hasn’t stopped her. “I’ve ridden my bike, taken a taxi, hopped on a bus, and even walked from Hartford to get here.”
Out of school for many years before enrolling at Goodwin, Mercado was at first hesitant about coming back, but found the new environment welcoming: “Goodwin made the transition easy for me. It is comforting, warm, and supportive here.”
Having lived on welfare as an inner city child, and had children herself at a young age, she recognizes the struggles and understands the perceptions of others, but refuses to let labels define her: “I am fighting for the people who feel they don’t have a voice.”
Mercado’s return to school helped support her promotion from staff assistant prior to district aide at the Congressman’s office. “Being a district aide allows me to do what I am truly interested in, case work. I’m able to work with populations I’m passionate about helping,” she stated.
Mercado believes in President Scheinberg’s vision for the College. “Goodwin has a wonderful reputation, vast support services, and is constantly growing and expanding. The faculty equips you with the skills and confidence to land a job in your field,” she noted.
In addition to her current course of study, Mercado has plans to pursue her education even further. “Goodwin has been the biggest motivator for me. I’ve learned not to settle. Goodwin fosters a desire to continue on and really be the best you can be. ”
With a belief that everyone has the power to change the world, it is obvious Mercado will make a difference in the lives of many. “There are so many opportunities to change your world and the world of others.”
By: Hannah Stacy