In Focus: Ritterson Laguerre
Why did you choose to major in Community Health at Hofstra?
It fit in with the associate's degree I received in pre-allied health from Mitchell College. I like the medical field and when I'm done with my bachelor's I plan to pursue Physician Assistant (PA) School. I thought having a background in community health would help me out. My ultimate goal is to become a cardiothoracic surgeon.
You are the first person in your family to graduate from college. What does an accomplishment like that feels like to you?
My parents are from Haiti and when they came here back in the early '80's. They finished high school, but didn't get the opportunity to go to college. I have two younger brothers and I feel like I'm setting the stage for them. One of my brothers will be graduating high school in May and the other one is currently in college. My dad started off in America as a school bus driver and my mom recently got her Certified Nursing License (CNA). Now my dad is a cab driver. My parents always told me to go to school and accomplish more than they did. They have done everything they can to help me. They told me that me graduating in December feels like they are graduating too. For my family, I want to do my best. I feel like this is a big accomplishment for my entire family. Hofstra is a prestigious university, so I am proud of that. I value education a lot and I came to school for a reason.
Who will be attending your graduation?
My parents, two brothers and I hope my uncle, grandparents and girlfriend. This is all for them!
Have you find mentors in any of your Community Health professors?
Dr. Schwartz has helped me out a lot with my education. He has given me great advice. When I first came to Hofstra I had a difficult time with my classes. I didn't know how I was going to make it. I was failing exams and it was very difficult. My mother encouraged me and I got the help that I needed at Hofstra. I got my grades up and my goal was to achieve a 4.0 GPA for one semester, which I did during this past summer. In the spring I had a 3.85 and I was very happy because of my struggle in the beginning. I worked hard, used my resources and spent a lot of time in Hammor Lab. Dr. Kyriacou and Dr. Schwartz both helped me out tremendously to get this degree and I just want to thank them.