Sharing Storm Stories

Students and faculty share their thoughts and experiences about the challenges of rebuilding their lives after Hurricane Sandy.

Starting to Rebuild - Student Letters

Recipients of the Empire State College Educational Grant share their thoughts in the letters below.

Nov. 30, 2012

Thank you SO MUCH! It's been an emotional roller coaster but it's also been a learning curve as to what I can and cannot handle; it opened my eyes to those who surround me, etc. I feel blessed to be here and although my family and I pretty much lost everything we're rebuilding and moving forward — that is what's most important.

I truly thank you for all your concern and thank Empire for their generosity. I am falling a bit behind. I have been googling my text book pages to obtain information for class work. It's not the best but it's getting me through the remainder of the semester.

Thanks for all the help and well wishes.

Laina Flores

Dec. 21, 2012

Wow I am literally in tears I am so thankful! Thank you so very very much! Empire State has been amazing not just the Hurricane fund but all around your school has been amazing; the concern for those affected is a true blessing!

Laina Flores

Nov. 30, 2012

I just wanted to write and say thank you for your continued support and generosity as we go through this trying time of rebuilding our lives after the devastating hurricane. As a single father of two boys, the ability to continue my education and remain a role model to my children is of utmost importance to me. Your support will make that possible and I can't express enough how thankful I am for the college's support.

While words can not express it enough, that is all I have; so again, thank you so much.

Kyle Vanderwarker

Dec. 24, 2012

I went to the mailbox this afternoon and was almost forced into tears. I'm not an emotional man but, this was a bit overwhelming. to me.

After everything we have been through with the hurricane and stressing about getting through this Christmas and making it somewhat normal for my boys, I was blown away by the generosity of SUNY Empire State. At a time when I was stressing about money and figuring out how I would get through the next little while, I was blown away by the $200 I found in the mailbox.

Again, while it's not nearly enough, all I can do is say thank you and relay how much this means to my boys and me. Merry Christmas!!

Kyle Vanderwarker

Nov. 30, 2012

Thank you for your concern and help! I didn't realize until after that it was focused on educational materials! I definitely wouldn't have submitted it!

What you guys are doing and have done for people during this time is outstanding. All of my teachers have been amazing through all of this and understanding about it as well.

Today is the first day I got my Internet and cable back, I am without a doubt grateful! Again, everyone at Empire State college is amazing and I'm so thankful!

Happy holidays to you and your family!


Samantha Campbell

Nov. 30, 2012

I would like to thank you and the entire Empire State College team. You all have been very understanding and helpful through this tough time. I am looking forward to completing a health study this November term. Words cannot tell you how thankful I am.

I wish you all and your families nothing but the best and a wonderful holiday season!

Thank you again,


Nov. 30, 2012

Thank you very much. I really appreciate all of the help and the $200 will help tremendously. Please let me know any next steps that I have to take on my end.

Again, thank you so much!

Scott Buble

Nov. 30, 2012

I appreciate the kind words echoed by the College I am truly grateful not only for the financial support but the support of all the staff and professors who have given me time to be able to complete my assignments. Thank you and everyone who has made this decision. I am aware that there are many who were affected and I again I am truly grateful because every little makes a difference.


Marion Johnson Herbert

Thank you so much that is the best news I have gotten all day. I cannot put into words how grateful I am for the assistance being provided.

Thank you!

Denise Diaz

Thank You very much it is greatly appreciated.

I want to thank the staff at Graduate Studies especially Dr.Kymn Rutigliano for her dedication and compassion.

Rosemarie Pisciotta

Thank you, thank you so much. When I get out from under, I will contribute to the student activities or college alumni house fund.

You have made a stormy situation a little brighter (pun intended).