Meet Rasul A.

Engineering Science graduate

“I look at this as a check point. I just want to keep going.”

Rasul Ali learned some life lessons the hard way but now, nearly six years after starting the Engineering Science program, his perseverance is on display.

A graduate of Green Tech High School in Albany, Rasul started his higher education at the College of Saint Rose back in 2012, but he admits that he simply wasn't prepared to make that leap from high school to college. After a single semester, he was out of school and working a two jobs to make ends meet and pay off his college debt.

“I got kind of overwhelmed by being in school full-time and working almost full-time and I fell flat. I wasn't managing my time so I dropped out and just kept working,” he said.

After a few years out in the working world, Rasul knew he could accomplish more. Gradually, he started taking a few classes at Hudson Valley through the Office of Continuing Education. “I enrolled in one course and then the next semester I enrolled in another and then I just kept going,” he said. “By the second or third semester, I knew I wanted to study Engineering Science so that was my focus, but I still had a lot of things in my way.”

With the Spring 2019 semester looming, Rasul realized that if he went back full-time and took four courses, he could finish his degree and make plans to transfer. That’s just what he’ll be doing, five and a half years after he started at Hudson Valley.

One person who will watch with pride as Rasul crosses the stage at commencement is his mom. “She always saw my potential. She was one of those parents who even if you got a 90, she was saying ‘how come this wasn't a 95?’ so yeah she’ll be there. She held the bar high for me.”

Rasul has some scholarship opportunities and is weighing his financial aid options as he looks to continue his education but he said he looks back with real pride to his accomplishments at Hudson Valley. “I remember back just trying to get through Calc I and thinking ‘how am I ever going to do this?, but it’s happening. I look at this as a check point. I just want to keep going.”