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Working Mom Beats Cancer, Earns Business Degree: Meet AIU Alumna Eugenia Capobianco

Eugenia Capobianco graduated from AIU Online in 2014 with a Bachelor of Business Administration 2014, AIU Online. At the commencement ceremony, where she was joined by her three kids and her parents – cancer survivors as well –  she shared with us her motivation for going back to college to pursue her degree, the tough road she faced and how she made it happen.

“My dream was to get a degree. I used to always say to the kids, ‘Before I die, I’m going to get a degree.’
And so, I almost did die. Stage four cancer. I had Hodgkin’s. Five years ago I got diagnosed. Lost my job because of the disease. They let you go after six months. So then when I was better my doctor said, ‘You’ve got to go back to work.’ I said, ‘Oh, I don’t have a job.’

‘Well, you’ve got to look for one.’

I got a job right away. And I was there for about a year and I saw that my boss was moving up. He was going back to school. He wanted to do other things. And I thought, ‘You know what? If I don’t get my degree, when the opportunity comes up, I’m not going to be able to be chosen for the job, because you know I am not going to be competitive than another person who has a degree.’

I didn’t think that I could do it. You know, with going through cancer and all that, I didn’t think that my brain was good enough to do it. So that was very hard, and I took one class at a time. It took me three years, but it’s been an amazing ride.

I am the first one in the family to graduate from college. My parents are here with me. My mom is 73. She is also a cancer survivor. And my father is 78. He is also a cancer survivor.

I have three kids. One is 24. I have twins, 16 years old. I think this is the best thing that I could do for them to show them that you’ve got to keep going in life. You’ve got to reach for your goals. Keep dreaming but work toward your dreams. You can’t just dream, you’ve got to make it happen.”

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