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Alumni of the Year

Edward Slaven

Good evening President Schegol, distinguished guests, faculty, staff and the graduating class of 2017.  It is with great honor I stand before you to accept the ALUMNUS OF THE YEAR AWARD. When I was selected for this award, I was surprised and humbled, however, I must admit it made me feel VERY special.

My journey to this day was not an easy one.  For 22 years I was a floral designer for several flower shops.  Unfortunately, the work hours drastically decline so I decided I needed to change my career path.  I participated in a job fair, and this is where I found out about ASA College. The representative provided the brochures, and I got excited when I saw the information for the Medical Assistant program.  As a child, it was my dream to become a doctor.   So without hesitation, I decided to enroll into the program, and this is where my life changed.

During my first few semesters, it was extremely challenging.  Having a wife, three kids, working as a Federal Work Study for New York Blood Center, and having a full class load was quite overwhelming. The adjustment did not come easy, and I struggled for the first two semesters. On the succeeding semesters, I received more help and support from my professors and classmates, THIS motivated me to continue.  The encouragement I received from my ASA family motivated me to push forward especially during the time I had a hip replacement surgery. Regardless of the obstacles, I struggled hard and graduated on the honor roll!  Upon graduation from the college, I became an active member of the Alumni Association.  I did this because I believe in giving back to the community, to the students and to the College.

After graduation, I was offered a full time position for $35,000 per year with NY Blood Center, the site where I was placed by the Career Services Department as Federal work-study.  The pursuit of continuing education was in my career plan.  I enrolled into NYU where they accepted my college credits, and obtained my Bachelor’s degree with a 3.69 GPA.  I am currently enrolled in a Physician Assistant program at NYU while still working with NYC Blood Center.   After a few years of hard work, commitment and dedication to my job, NYC Blood Center promoted and transferred me to Transportation and Logistics Department where I am now gainfully employed at a salary over $90,000 per year, an accomplishment my family and I are EXTREMELY proud of.

I will be forever grateful to ASA College for my education, for without it, this would have been just a dream. ASA has open doors for me, I never dreamed possible, and my desire to succeed has propelled me to this level of success!  GRADUATES, it is in within each of you to do the same!!!

My advice to you, class of 2017 is, “In spite of obstacles – Never give up, stand up for yourself, give back, help others to succeed, work hard, but work smart, and follow your dreams!

Remember: “Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.”

Once again congratulations!!