Gay-Le’s Story

Gay-Le came to CCF via one of our partners, the Women’s Prison Association in August 2010. After being released from prison in 2000, she made the decision to return to school to increase her chances of finding employment.

Gay-Le struggled with getting her associate’s from Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY) in 2003 and knew that she would need help if she was to continue to her bachelor’s degree. Among the challenges in returning to school, was finding an affordable program that could cater to the older adult learner. Gay-Le had already taken out student loans for MCNY and was only working part-time. When Gay-Le came to CCF, the Recruitment, Intake and Retention Counselor together with the Academic Counselor helped Gay-Le find exactly what she was looking for, Center for Worker Education (CWE) at City College, CUNY.

CWE differs from traditional undergraduate programs, in that it is designed to meet the needs of returning, working, adult students bringing with it the affordability of CUNY. Though CCF had helped Gay-le to find the perfect program, her return to college was not without obstacles.

Her transcript from MCNY was not strong enough to waive City College’s math requirement. Without meeting the math requirement, Gay-Le could not be admitted. She was given a math placement test but was not successful. Frustrated by the defeat, Gay-Le wanted to give up.

She shared with the staff at CCF, “Perhaps, this is not for me.” CCF’s staff talked to Gay-Le and worked diligently with the admissions representatives at CWE to find a college prep program. Gay-Le’s hopes were raised and she enrolled and successfully completed the college prep program. One year after coming to CCF, she was accepted into the bachelor’s program at the Center for Worker Education. Her first semester’s GPA was an amazing 4.0.

“If I had known of CCF when I first made my decision to return to school, I would have a master’s degree by now.” Gay-Le shares.

Today, Gay-Le, a licensed and ordained minister, is currently working full time at a methadone program assisting individuals addicted to opiates. She also holds a CASAC (Credentialed Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor) Certificate. She is an active CCF participant including the Speakers Bureau. She has presented at The Correctional Association’s Reconnect advocacy and leadership training program where formerly incarcerated women learn to become leaders. She volunteers with CCF whenever we need assistance.

“I know what I can expect from CCF. In return, I will be committed, dedicated, and willing to support CCF anyway needed.”