By Angelo Fattore,
Surreal. It's a word I use to describe walking across the stage at Moravian College on May 13, 2017. I didn't recollect what actually happened until I sat back down and became overwhelmed with joy and sadness. After six years, I had finally received my bachelor's degree! This story begins long before I entered the 275-year-old campus. It started at a place I called home for the first three years of my college experience: Northampton Community College. I remember how reluctant I was to attend community college. It wasn't real college, it was an extension of high school, considered the "13th grade" by my high school classmates. I thought to myself, "I am better than this."
I can remember my first day. The summer went by so quick that I almost forgot that classes were about to begin. Luckily enough, I dodged the traffic on Linden Street/Route 191 and parked in the back of the D Lot, already planning to make a quick exit at the end of the day. As I entered the Quad and the College Center I saw that the campus was filled with life. Students were bustling from building to building, the cafeteria was packed, and a robust game of life size chess was taking place in the Student Life Zone. I became a little more excited and thought to myself, "Let's give this a try and see where it goes."
As I look back on my MyNCC account, I get nostalgic seeing my old schedule. My first semester consisted of Speech Communications, College Algebra, English I, and Cultural Anthropology. I can remember the 12 to 15 pages syllabi being sent to me the week before and thought nothing of it. I would have never have thought that those classes would make such an impact on my life.
The myth of the "13th grade" was quickly busted as I realized how challenging not only my first day was, but that entire first semester. The demand in and outside of class was high, but I knew I had to keep going. If it was not for my professors, classmates, friends, and family by my side during my journey I am not sure how far I would have made it. My advice for someone who is on the fence about coming to NCC or deciding whether or not to return for another semester, would be don't give up on the journey. The beauty that I took from Northampton is that it brings together so many people from different walks and stages of life. Even when I wanted to quit or dropout this love for all was always pulling me back. Today as I drive down Green Pond Road and visit the College, my heart starts to race because I know I am coming back home.
Angelo Fattore received an associate degree in general studies at Northampton Community College in 2014 before transferring to Moravian College. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in management and was the student speaker for the class of 2017 at Moravian's commencement ceremony. He was also the alumni speaker at NCC's commencement ceremony in 2017!
During his college years, he had the opportunity to intern with several local companies: Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation, OAA Orthopaedic Specialists, Just Born, and Lehigh Valley with Love. He also spent time in Dublin, Ireland, interning at Balls Media, one of the country's leading sports media outlets.
After graduation he has begun a job search but still plans to be involved and give back to his alma maters. Currently Fattore serves on NCC's Alumni Board.
"It doesn't matter that I've graduated. I'm still a part of the community. I'll always be a Spartan and a Hound," Fattore said.