Scholarly Sisters

Stephanie DeRosa was the Salutatorian of Skaneateles High School’s Class of 2013. She had the grades to go to college wherever she wanted. As she began the process of choosing a school she kept going back to advice her father had given her. “Dad graduated from a community college. He always said ‘you get the best service at a community college and you pay the least for it.’” DeRosa took a long look at two and four-year colleges, examined the bottom line and made her decision. “When I compared the financial costs it made sense to go to OCC.”

Stephanie DeRosa (center) was named the top student in OCC's Engineering Science program by College President Dr. Casey Crabill (left) and Professor Brian McAninch (right).
Stephanie DeRosa (center) was named the top student in OCC’s Engineering Science major by College President Dr. Casey Crabill (left) and Professor Brian McAninch (right).

DeRosa enrolled in OCC’s Engineering Science program and also pursued an Honors Minor. She earned a perfect 4.0 grade point average and was invited to join international student honor society Phi Theta Kappa. DeRosa was named the top student in the Engineering Science major and earned her degree in May 2015. The foundation she built at OCC traveled thousands of miles with her to the prestigious University of California at Berkeley where she is now majoring in electrical engineering and computer science.

Two years after Stephanie made the decision to come to OCC it was her younger sister Jenn’s turn. She had done her sister one better in high school, being named Valedictorian of Skaneateles’ Class of 2015. “I always thought I wanted to go far away for college. When I started crunching numbers and speaking with professors at four-year schools, I realized I was going to get the same education at OCC and spend a lot less money. In the end it was an easy choice to be smart with your life and make conscious decisions rather than emotional decisions.”

Jenn is now a freshman at OCC, majoring in Mathematics and Science with an Honors Minor. She’s hoping to have the same experience at the College her sister had. “I loved my time there,” said Stephanie. “Every professor was willing to talk about the material outside of class, they were always available during office hours and they always responded to emails. That isn’t something you will find everywhere.”