- Major: Mathematics & Science with a concentration in Biology and an Honors Affiliate
- High School: Central Square, class of 2016
Kate Hanson loves helping others whether she’s serving as an Honors Student Ambassador, tutoring fellow students or working as a Biology note taker for students who utilize the Office of Accessibility Resources. “I didn’t know I had the desire to help others until I took a year off between high school and college. That’s when I learned how much fulfillment I get from helping people.”
During Hanson’s senior year at Central Square High School, she studied cosmetology at BOCES. “I was really interested in making people feel beautiful, but I wasn’t feeling fulfilled mentally.” Despite earning her cosmetology license and having a career path in front her, something was missing. “I needed a major I was passionate about. Taking the year off helped me take a look at what I wanted to do and not what other people were doing. I realized how much I missed going to school and missed learning.”
Hanson had become interested in a career as a Physician’s Assistant. She decided to attend Onondaga Community College and major in Mathematics & Science with a concentration in Biology. As a commuter student she would live at home and save money. She also applied for and was awarded the Excelsior Scholarship which provides students the opportunity to attend a college in the SUNY system tuition-free. “Excelsior was a huge difference maker for me. It helped me a lot here. When I go to my next school I won’t have any loans.”
Hanson is a member of the college’s chapter of international honor society Phi Theta Kappa and its leadership team. She shares her knowledge with fellow students by tutoring them in Biology and Psychology. “I really enjoy the feeling of helping others. It’s why I want to become a Physician’s Assistant and help people. The year I took off school helped me realize how much fulfillment I get from helping people.
Hanson has another long-term goal and it’s one she started talking about before coming to OCC. “When I was in high school I was asked, ‘ten years from now what’s the most important thing you could be?’ I answered, ‘a mom.’ The person I was talking to was so taken aback by that, like I was wasting my brain. It’s very important to me to have a family.”
Hanson will earn her degree next May. She plans to transfer to another SUNY school so she can continue receiving Excelsior Scholarship benefits as she works toward her career goal.