How personal tragedy led Katherine Altenor to law school


Katherine Altenor decided to become a lawyer before she even understood what the word meant. After personally witnessing the devastating effects of improper medical treatment, Altenor promised she’d do everything in her power to prevent similar tragedies.

“Low-income families frequently get trapped in medical situations. They either settle for less than adequate care or become overwhelmed with medical costs and can’t afford to get themselves out,” explains Altenor, who majored in psychology and completed the College of Saint Elizabeth’s (CSE) pre-law program. “I want to be the lawyer who can help them through these challenges.”

This fall, Altenor will be beginning her first year of law school at the Lincoln Memorial University School of Law in Knoxville, Tennessee­. However, without CSE’s Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) program, Altenor believes her dream may never have become a reality.

“I always planned on becoming a lawyer but EOF pushed me to realistically think about my future career,” says Altenor. “If I did not receive a strong structure while I was an EOF student, then I would not be prepared for law school. In fact, the study habits I had before entering the EOF program would have ensured that I would never have even gotten into law school.”

In addition to being deeply involved in the CSE community, Altenor is active in her local Baptist church. Her generous spirit and commitment to helping others has led her to build houses with Habitat for Humanity, frequently visit institutions for adults with special needs and volunteer at local foodbanks.

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Mary Colleen Robinson has a communication degree with a concentration in journalism and is currently working as the PR/Social Media Specialist at the College of Saint Elizabeth. 

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