I’m Deborah Wankel, a survivor of domestic violence and I got my new start at Brookdale Community College.
For a very long time, I worked at a job that was extremely mundane and increasingly fulfilling. I longed for a career change and always had an interest in the elements of the legal field but was not sure I was up for the challenge to learn a new skill or step back into a classroom after three decades.
I received a pamphlet in the mail from Brookdale that featured an upcoming semester which included paralegal studies. It perked my interest. The flexible class would allow me to continue to work full time and attend classes in the evening. For me, there were no more excuses. Brookdale would provide the start to a new and exciting career.
I now laugh as I recall the day that I was to attend my first class after an absence of thirty years; I thought I would be the oldest among my classmates when in fact there was a gentleman attending that proclaimed to be 78 years young.
To my great relief, my classmates were as diversified as a shopping mall. It seemed as if the younger students gravitated toward the older ones to tap into our life experiences which made our presence more accepting and I must say vice versa.
I wondered if my brain would have enough room for a new career and amazingly enough, it did. The professors were there to give their knowledge and I was there to accept it. I had no qualms about asking questions – after all, I had a new career waiting for me in a field that I had no prior knowledge and one that seemed to have a language all its own.
Each course left me with more and more knowledge of the day to day activities generated in a law firm. The skill of computer applications, forms, research, writing, ethics and behavior all brought to focus a new understanding of the law with its intricate proceedings.
Unsure of the area of law that I wanted to focus my attention on, I decided that my last course would be an internship and the area of law would find me. That decision was one of the best I have ever made. Messina Law Firm, P.C. in Holmdel, New Jersey accepted my internship and groomed me in the area of curing title defects.
I was reaching my goal to reestablish myself and along the way gaining the confidence to maintain that goal. Thanks to the professors who shared their knowledge that inspired me enough to reach the Dean’s List, graduate with an Associate’s degree in Applied Science, I now proudly display my paralegal certificate.
I continue to cure title defects as a full-time paralegal at Messina Law Firm, P.C. and could not have achieved this accomplishment without the education I received at Brookdale Community College and the guidance from Gil Messina, Esq.