Lina Pignato, SUNY Cortland

After losing my father in high school, I didn’t realize I’d have to lean so heavily on my mother for assistance.  No one in my family has been able to achieve a four-year degree yet. That has been my motivation to work hard to make them proud. My mother wisely invested in a savings account for my education, unfortunately the funds only partially cover the costs for the first two years of SUNY Cortland and the costs only seem to be going up.

I work full-time over the summers at an assisted living center and was fortunate enough to secure one of the limited spots in the Work Study Program to put towards the costs of living at Cortland. While it is difficult to keep up with the expense of food, transportation and other unavoidable essentials, I am thankful to have been accepted into work-study because it helps reduce my tuition costs and enables me to have some extra cash during the semester.