Heather Casparro graduated RCBC in May with an associate degree in Human Services and a perfect 4.0 GPA.
Rowan College at Burlington County officials have announced that Heather Casparro, who graduated RCBC in May with an associate degree in human services and a perfect 4.0 GPA, was elected to serve as the 2018–2019 Alumni Trustee.
“RCBC is proud to welcome Heather to the Board of Trustees,” said RCBC Board Chair George Nyikita at the Aug. 21 Board of Trustees meeting. “A dedicated student, mother and volunteer, Heather exemplifies the traits that serve our students and alumni well into the future. Her hardworking attitude and insight will be valuable as we look to expand successful initiatives and grow the top community college in the state.”
Casparro, of Westampton, was a stay at home mom to two boys, Aiden and Dane, before enrolling at RCBC in 2015. According to officials, the 39-year-old, who grew up without much guidance, knew she had more work ahead of her than most students.
She had an undiagnosed learning disability and possessed few literacy skills, which officials said made it very difficult to read.
However, officials say her perseverance paid off in the end. She earned a scholarship from the National Organization for Human Services, beating a nationwide pool of students that included students working on their master’s degree, and received the RCBC Human Services Academic Award and the RCBC President’s Award scholarship.
“I worked on reading constantly. I knew that I was capable of a lot,” Casparro said. “RCBC gave me a second chance at life. I can relate to the hardships that many other students are facing and I look forward to providing a student’s perspective to the college’s Board of Trustees.”
Each year, a member of the college’s graduating class is elected to serve a one-year term as a non-voting member of the college’s Board of Trustees to represent the class. Casparro took the official oath of office at the Board of Trustees meeting on Aug. 21.
“Heather has defied the odds and is someone that pays it forward in life by doing whatever she can to make a difference in the lives of others,” said RCBC Acting President Dr. Michael A. Cioce. “I’m happy she selected RCBC for her education and that she will continue to be a part of the college community.”
Officials said Casparro was inspired to give back by a volunteer for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, who supported her in her darkest moments as her son, who was preschool age, was fighting a life and death battle with pneumonia.
“We were not sure my son was going to make it. I didn’t want to close my eyes for even second,” she said. “The volunteer never left my side. When we knew my son was going to be okay, I asked her how I could ever repay her. She told me to volunteer in the community.”
Today, Casparro is a child advocate volunteer for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate). This fall, she plans to intern with the Burlington County Coalition for Healthy Communities as she pursues a bachelor’s in behavioral science from Wilmington University. She hopes to obtain a master’s in social work and serve as a child advocate in a courtroom, or wherever she can make the most difference.