When Petrona Laporte’s daughter was just entering her freshman year of high school and her son was preparing to 研究生, 女儿问了她一个简单的问题:妈妈, 你是哪所大学毕业的?
As a single mom raising two children and working full-time, Laporte, who had attended college but stopped out to raise her family, 能听到自己在给女儿找借口吗. Within the same week that her daughter raised the question, a friend also asked when she was going back to college. Finding herself spouting excuses again, she promised that she would at least look into it.
第二天, a coworker at Lancaster General Hospital told her about Immaculata’s 健康 Care Management program and how great it was.
Within two weeks of making her first contact with Immaculata, 她注册了课程, had her class schedule in-hand and purchased her books. 她的孩子给她买了背包, it hit home that she was now a college student – and it was scary!
“One of the first classes I had was Organization Concepts with Dr. 金·艾伦给了我最好的建议. 拉波特说:“她告诉我，‘只要继续出现就行了. As difficult as it was, she kept showing up and crossing off her completed courses, one by one. 她的最后一节课，博士. Peter Rondinaro’s High Performance and Perfectionism, was the piece that made everything click.
“That class literally changed my life,” she states bluntly.
Laporte explained that Rondinaro’s class helped her both professionally and personally by giving her insight into why she strove so hard in class. With parents who are Saint Lucian, Laporte grew up in both Brooklyn, New York and Saint Croix. 15岁时，她发现自己无家可归. She acknowledges that school was always her safe place. “I would keep my head down and get it done and do the best that I could. That was all I could control because everything else was so out of control,” she says. 通过这门课, Rondinaro provided Laporte with insight into why she was always so hard on herself. In the process, it enabled her to be kinder to herself and others.
根据Laporte, there was one simple sentence that Rondinaro stated that made a huge impact: People do the best they can with what they know at the time and forgive them when they do not meet your standards.
“I had been harboring some ill-will for decades and it literally melted away!她承认道.
The class also helped her professionally because it made her realize that people often operate from what they know and that their actions are not vindictive. Laporte provides the example of her position in the Diversity and Inclusion Department at Lancaster General Hospital where she served as an advocate for equal access for all patients. Laporte was the first and only person to work as an American Sign Language interpreter in that department at the hospital. Once she went on medical leave, her position was not replaced. However, she understands that the hospital needs to make decisions that work best for them. While working in the Diversity and Inclusion Department, she made strides to ensure that patients were provided crucial medical information in their first-language—no matter what that language is.
和一个天生失聪的哥哥一起长大, Laporte learned sign language and became a sign language interpreter. 认识到当今世界的多元文化主义, she is determined to make sure people have equal access to the same experiences and opportunities as others have. 为此目的, Laporte volunteers her time in her 社区 of Lancaster, PA, 光明前景机会中心的财务主管, an organization that offers a wide range of services and resources to provide opportunities for all—especially the youth—within Southwest Lancaster City. 除了, 她是Soroptimist的董事会成员, an international volunteer organization working to improve the lives of women and girls in local communities and throughout the world. Recently they organized a shoe drive and sent care packages to women in remote countries.
有工作经验, and earning dual degrees in 健康 Care Management and Organizational Behavior, Laporte is devoted to continuing her work with communities and organizations to provide equal access to resources. “I would love to run an organization that is a one-stop resource center,” she says.
既然她已经获得了学位, she reflects on others who may be debating about going back to school. Although it is scary and not easy, she has some advice for them: start today.
“如果你今天不开始, four years from now you’re going to look back and say ‘darn it, 我就完蛋了.’”