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Taleida Gamble Found Her Way Back to LaGuardia with Help from the Credits for Success Program
Taleida Gamble is second from left at a ribbon cutting for LaGuardia’s Office of Credit for Prior Learning in February 2023
LONG ISLAND CITY, NY (May 2, 2023) — LaGuardia Community College student Taleida Gamble, 34, appreciates the Credits for Success initiative for helping her re-enroll after a five-year break. • • • •
Taleida first enrolled at LaGuardia in 2014 as a Human Services: Mental Health major. After earning 24 credits, she left LaGuardia in 2017 when she became the head of her household and wanted to focus on supporting herself and her two daughters, now ages 10 and 11.
She found work in the mental health field, initially working with children with autism and behavioral problems. Taleida now does de-escalation work at a major hospital in the New York metropolitan region. While she enjoys her work immensely, Taleida wanted to finish her college degree and advance to doing case management. She also dreams of becoming a forensic occupational therapist—helping people with mental illness to live satisfying lives.
In February 2022, Taleida saw a post on LinkedIn about a debt forgiveness scholarship available through the Credits for Success initiative of LaGuardia’s Office of Credit for Prior Learning. Both are supported by a $1 million grant from Robin Hood to help working-age New Yorkers who have earned some college credits but did not complete the course requirements from a degree.
“I reached out and Marsha was very responsive and supportive,” said Taleida, speaking about Marsha Oropeza, director of Credit for Prior Learning. “Thanks to her, I received a tuition waiver that helped cover my outstanding balance from 2017. She also made sure that I was not dropped from my classes—I even earned As in the two classes I took: Public Speaking and Community Health.”
Taleida plans to complete her associate degree in 2024 and then hopes to pursue a bachelor’s degree in forensic psychology at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
“I love LaGuardia,” said Taleida. “I’ve looked at other colleges, but here I find that the professors are so supportive.”
And she’s pleased to be setting a good example for her two daughters.
“My daughters are excited that I’m back in school. During fall session II, they’d sit at the kitchen table with me during my online classes for U.S. Power and Politics—listening to the lectures and reminding me about exam dates. I’m teaching them to about the value of a college degree and to never give up.”
LaGuardia Community College (LAGCC), a Hispanic-Serving Institution, located in Long Island City, Queens offers more than 50 degrees and certificates, and more than 65 continuing education programs to educate New Yorkers seeking new skills and careers. As an institution of the City University of New York (CUNY), the College reflects the legacy of our namesake, Fiorello H. LaGuardia, the former NYC mayor beloved for his advocacy of underserved populations. Since 1971, LaGuardia’s academic programs and support services have advanced the socioeconomic mobility of students while providing them with access to a high quality, affordable college education.