Hi, my name is Anna Reifman. We all have things that are wrong in our lives, but we got up this morning. Be grateful! I am proud of the fact that I am grateful to be alive. There were days when I was younger when I wondered why I was alive, because I suffer from depression. I didn’t even want to get out of bed. I am finally following my dream of going to college, even if it is taking me forever: one or few classes at a time. After high school I went right to work. I was laid off after they moved part of my job Barcelona, Spain, and then the rest of it to somewhere in Texas. At that time I realized it was the perfect opportunity to go to college even thought I was fifty-seven. I am now sixty-two.

I’m at LaGuardia Community College, studying computer technology. I’m enjoying learning. I also suffer from anxiety, and did really badly the first semester there, but got a lot of support from the College staff, especially Regina Varin-Mignarno. I took last year off because the stress was once again getting to me. I really like helping people and I love computers. And I’m playing with different ideas for a new career, like maybe teaching seniors how to use computers, or web design.

I’m really proud of being an active part in in CCSD, the CUNY Coalition for Students with Disabilities. We have really incredible mentors. I’m getting the support I need to continue on this path. I used to be extremely shy I have managed to speak in front of the CUNY board of trustees thanks to this support. People had my back, telling me I could do it. They told me I could be the voice for everybody. I think that’s what helped me do it. Our mentors helped me work on my speech and helped me practice it until I felt comfortable. Now, I’m grateful for every day I have. I want to make my life meaningful.

Anna is on the Executive Board of CCSD, serving for her second year.