High School: Cicero-North Syracuse, Class of 2011
Major at OCC: Human Services
Lisa Newcomb’s life changing moment came in the office of her OCC advisor, Derek Jackson. “He was looking at my grades and said to me, ‘What are you doing?’ It was tough love and I needed that. It really made me think, ‘What AM I doing? What DO I want? It made me sit down and figure things out.”
Newcomb had been an outstanding high school student despite having to deal with a difficult medical condition known as POV, or premature ovarian failure. As she continued to excel in school her parents encouraged her to become a doctor or lawyer. Newcomb went to Le Moyne College, majored in Political Science but struggled to balance the challenges of school and adult life. She eventually made her way to OCC, majored in Business Administration but didn’t do well. Her grade point average in the fall 2015 semester was 1.0.
Newcomb’s passion was social work. “I always wanted to help people. There was alcohol and substance abuse in my family. My goal was to help the less fortunate and at-risk.” After her conversation with Jackson she knew what she needed to do. It was time to pursue her goals rather than her parents.
Newcomb returned to OCC for the spring 2016 semester, became a Human Services major and turned into an outstanding student. She earned a grade point average of 3.94 while taking 18 credits and was named to the President’s list. “It was wonderful. I loved each and every class I was in. I’ve never been happier!”
Today Newcomb is on her way to earning her degree in May 2017. She’s also getting a start on her career by working as a mentor at Advocates Inc. and assisting in the homes of people with developmental disabilities. During the fall semester Newcomb was selected for an internship with Onondaga County Family Court. She works with the Parent Support Program helping parents find employment and connecting more with their children.
Her career goal is to become a child psychiatrist. Due to her ongoing struggle with POV she would also like to create a non-profit organization and raise money for women dealing with fertility costs. She credits OCC with helping her turn her life around. “I love it. It’s wonderful here. There are so many people willing to help you if you are willing to reach out to them.”