“I am strong. I am loyal. I am beautiful. I am ESC.”

Toneisha Colson
Coram, New York

Toneisha Colson does what many of us do: she works and raises her children while managing dozens of other responsibilities that are part of daily life. But Toneisha does it on her own.

“My world was being a single mom, raising two sons and a daughter, trying to keep a roof over their head, food in their bellies, and the lights on,” Toneisha says.

Then, in 2015, she had an epiphany. When talking with her children about the importance of education, she says she was forced to take a hard look at herself.

“It dawned on me that I was telling them to focus and learn so they could have a good career, when I was just trying to make ends meet,” Toneisha says. “I had to lead by example, put my money where my mouth was, and practice what I preached. So I called ESC.”

She’s never looked back. Toneisha earned her associate degree at ESC in 2017 and will receive her bachelor’s degree in Community and Human Services in June 2019. She says she feels like a good example to her two sons in college and her daughter, who consistently makes the high honor roll.

“You are never too old to learn or go back to school. Don't let anything or anyone steer you away from your dreams and goals,” Toneisha advises. “When you want to give up, remember why you enrolled in the first place. Don't sell yourself short. You are smart, wonderful and powerful.”



I AM ESC is both a welcome and a deeply rooted sense of belonging. Here, students come first. Their success is supported every step of the way so they can go confidently into the world and put new skills and ideas into practice.

I AM ESC is a testament to our students’ resolve to do more, to be more, to achieve more. And it is proof that education, family, work and life can go hand in hand, and even enrich the academic experience.

I AM ESC captures the spirit of our students and statewide community. It reflects the talents, interests and diversity of the residents and industries critical to the state we call home.

I AM ESC is a rallying cry – an all-inclusive invitation to students to freely pursue their goals and to fully experience and continually shape our college and programs.  

I AM ESC is a statement of pride, ownership and accomplishment. It’s a celebration of where you’ve been, where you are, and where you’re going. It’s a guiding force and fundamental element of what ESC is and what ESC does.

I AM ESC is you. And we’re better because of it.


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