b'Lori Jagow 95, 97You never know what obstacles youll have to face in life. For NCCC alumnae, Lori Jagow, life presented her with new challenges after her divorce. With strength, perseverance, and support from NCCC, she turned her challenges into opportunities. Lori graduated from NCCC in 1995 with her RehabilitationServices Certificate and in 1997 with her Associates Degree in LA&S: Humanities and Social Science. She has been published twice in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. She and her son have also worked on films about autism such as DiffabilityHollywood and Normal People Scare Me Too. She is currently pursuing her masters degree and becoming a church deacon. She is working as a photographer and online minister. This isher story. I found myself unprepared to face the workforce as a single parent, said Lori. NCCCs rehabilitation program interested me because addiction and rehab were things that had personally affected my life.My son Jimmy was two-years old and balancing school whileparenting him wasnt easy. There would be times that he refused to go to childcare so I couldnt attend classes. Things finallybegan to change when I started taking him to NCCCs Child Development Center. This gave me the opportunity to visit him between classes which relieved some of his and my stress. This allowed me to become more involved on campus.NCCC Professor and Counselor Al Saladino made one of thelargest impacts on my academic career. I was consideringtransferring and instead he encouraged me to continue withthe program which required gen ed courses. He said to me, You might not see how it applies today, but youre going to be grateful that you took these courses because youll use them for the rest of your life. I had no idea that those courses would help lead to my career. I am so thankful to have been mentored by such an incredible person as Al before he tragically passed away. I continued my education in the hopes of receiving my bachelors degree and getting my dream job as a rehab counselor. Over the years I never suspected that my son had a disability. I thought he just had a difficult time with attachment issues. However, his struggles were becoming more apparent and now my associates degree was coming back to haunt me.I received a notice toattend a routine benefit re-certification at the Department of Social Services. I didnt anticipate anything unusual until I was sent to a different department. A man met me at the end of the hallway and said, You are no longer eligible for benefits now that you have a degree. My heart sank and I was devastatedhow was I going to provide for my son? When I got home, I realized that I needed to have faith that things would be okay. After almost two weeks, I received a phone call from my former YWCA supervisor. She offered me the opportunity to work as a beginner fitness class instructor that 6 NIAGARA COUNTY COMMUNITY COLLEGE'