This student was forced to choose between her family and an education

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Shania Griffin had to make a choice between building a better life for herself and maintaining a relationship with her family. Growing up, Griffin cared for a family member with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), a disease that affects the brain and spinal cord. As the condition progressed, Griffin was expected to remain at home and care for her ailing relative. Concerned that she would leave for school and never return, Griffin was given an ultimatum: forego an education and stay with the family or attend college and no longer be welcome at home.

“In Newark, people often wake up with more questions than answers and I wanted to live a life where I didn’t have to wonder about what was coming next,” says Griffin. “I realized my environment wasn’t going to change unless I had the courage to change it. So, I packed all my stuff and headed to Convent Road.”

Once at Saint Elizabeth University (SEU), Griffin began studying business administration and became the president of the math and computer science club her sophomore year. According to Griffin, math is a universal language that all must speak in order to understand the world. She believes that it is integral to human success because it grants professionals access to the future.

Additionally, Griffin believes that more women should be involved in both the business and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields because of their unique perspectives.

“We know that group thinking is not good for business or innovation because it hinders creativity and promotes bad decision making,” explains Griffin. “Having women be part of the conversation only makes for more inclusive viewpoints and solutions to potential problems.”

While at SEU, Griffin interned for Allergan, a pharmaceutical company that develops, manufactures, and commercializes therapeutic medicine all over the world. As part of the Global Transformation team, Griffin was able to use her analytical skills to help the company have better global visibility.

“I worked hard for the life I know I deserve,” says Griffin. “This experience taught me that I can do anything in this world and to never give up on myself. Greatness is personal and I can’t put myself on someone else’s metric of success.”

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

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