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The New York SUNY system saves my day

College years were my dream come true: independence, learning  being on my own, and figuring out how to travel the USA. The SUNY system helped me realize this dream.

I started at Temple University on scholarship and through connections to my cousin teaching at SUNY Fredonia, I finally took a bus to Buffalo, NY, at 17 years old and started my first new life — Reinventing Wendy for the second half of my Freshman year. I was able to use my scholarship money in NY, secured a job, met new friends and was living a new life as a college girl away from Philadelphia.

At 19, I drove cross country with college friends.. sleeping in a pup tent across the US to California and back for the month of a lifetime of adventure and fun. I was reinvented again from this adventure of seeing the whole USA for the first time.. coast to coast.

I transferred to SUNY Stony Brook to pursue  my psychology degree in September 1972 at the best school in the system to do that. Manifesting an opportunity to do an independent study semester towards my degree by living in Synanon, the first drug rehabilitation therapeutic community in California, I served there from January to August 1973. This proved to be a life changing experience. 

Returned to Stony Brook to complete my senior year as another reinvented Wendy, I  graduated in May 1974. I paid my way with a few loans still to pay back.. but completed the most amazing four years of my life as a proud College graduate… the FIRST one in my generation of my family to do so.

Wendy Williams

Author Wendy Williams

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