Produced by the Department of Media Relations & Publications

Never Give Up, Says Jacqueline Ferrell (B.A., '10)

May 27, 2010

Jacqueline Ferrell

This is the first in a series of profiles of Lehman's 2010 graduates.

If there is a lesson to be learned from Jacqueline Ferrell's experience at Lehman College it's this: never give up. The native of Charleston, S.C., has overcome adversities and challenges that would make even the most stalwart individual weak in the knees.

During her four years at Lehman she was suddenly faced with being laid off from her job of twenty years, as a counselor in a woman's youth home. Then, due to financial necessity, she and her teenage daughter had to move in with a family member; life got tougher as they faced eviction seven times. Later, when her sister became seriously ill, Ferrell also took on the responsibilities of caregiver.

But she persevered, thanks to the help of Lehman faculty and staff—"they've been a jewel to me," she says. "My stay at Lehman has been enriching and has afforded me the opportunity to meet so many people. It has transformed my life."

She is the first member of her immediate family to graduate from college—she received a B.A. in youth studies, a self-designed major, and was inducted last year into Golden Key International Honor Society. "I realize that I can accomplish whatever I desire," she says, "as long as I have the right level of support, tenacity, and motivation to go forward. It made me recognize that I can do anything as long as I put my mind to it."

Ferrell also made the Dean's List—an accomplishment she shares with her daughter, currently in her junior year at St. Francis College in Brooklyn, where she is studying English and political science.