Meet Markeia R.

Human Services graduate

“When I look back on my life, I just want to be able to say I was able to inspire other people to reach their goals.”

If you’re looking for inspiration, you couldn’t do much better than Markeia Robinson ’14.

A teenage mother who dropped out of high school in the ninth grade, Markeia took stock of her life at age 30, and through a remarkable show of perseverance, turned what was desperation into inspiration.

In 2010, she earned her GED, and over the next seven years she completed an A.S. in human services as well as bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology and organizational management - all while working full-time and raising two daughters as a single parent.

“I was turning 30 and I did a lot of reflecting,” she said. “I had a ninth grade education; I was a single parent of two daughters, and I reflected about what led me to that point. Was I satisfied with where I was? Was I being a role model for my daughters?”

Her answer was “no” and the first step was at Hudson Valley.

These days, Markeia is an inspirational speaker and certified life coach that takes genuine pleasure in empowering others. She’s also the director of operations and a training consultant at McLean Consulting in Albany, where she helps businesses and organizations create an environment where diversity, equity and inclusion are more than just buzzwords, they’re a sustainable part of the culture.

In 2018, she also published her first book, “The Non-Traditional Route: From GED to Ph.D.,” a memoir that can serve as an inspiration and road map for others.

“The book tells the story from the beginning to the end,” she said. “Well, up to this point at least.”

Because of her decision to return to school at age 30, Markeia said, a whole new world opened up, not only for her but for her daughters as well.

“I have a responsibility to break generational curses,” she said. “My mother had me when she was 15. I got pregnant when I was 15, and then I had two daughters, so, in my mind, I refused to allow them to keep that cycle going. I had a responsibility to show them that their life could be their own.”