Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Friday 17 September |
Saint of the Day: St. Hildegard of Bingen
home iconArt & Culture
line break icon

Catholic single mom named valedictorian at St. Francis College in Brooklyn, New York

J-P Mauro - published on 06/12/20

Of the Catholic college, she said, "St. Francis has the spirit of community."

A Catholic mother who is raising her daughter alone is making headlines for being named co-valedictorian of the St. Francis College class of 2020. Alexa Rutkowska graduated at the top of her class at the Brooklyn Heights, New York, college, all while balancing multiple jobs and caring for her daughter.

In an interview with Emily Drooby, of NetNY, Rutkowska described a schedule that would make many reevaluate just how much they wanted their degree. Her studies kept her running around for two-thirds of each day, while maintaining positions as a barista, a tutor, a teacher, a research assistant, and a full-time mom. She described her days:

“It was definitely a bit of a struggle. I was waking up at five o’clock in the morning, going to work for 6 a.m., I was a barista,” she explained. “Then I would shoot right over to school, I had class and participated in extracurriculars. It was a lot. I had 16-hour days and at the end of the day, I would have to come home and take care of my daughter. So, it was a lot.”

A Catholic parishioner of St. Francis Xavier in Park Slope, Brooklyn, Rutkowska explained to the St. Francis College press that St. Francis was the only college to which she applied. She credited the support of her family for helping her make the decision to see her education through. When asked if the Franciscan values resonated with her during her time at St. Francis College, she said:

“Yes, St. Francis has the spirit of community. I would not be where I am today without the support of my peers and faculty. All the staff helps students a lot. That spirit of community definitely encourages students to reach their goals.”

Alexa graduates with a master’s degree in psychology and intends to continue her education to the doctoral level. She hopes to one day open her own private practice.


Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Cerith Gardiner
Our favorite stories of celebrities who inspire us in daily life
Philip Kosloski
How receiving Holy Communion can drive away demons
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Pope considers what to do with pro-abortion Catholic politicians
Berthe and Marcel
Lauriane Vofo Kana
This couple has the longest marriage in France
As irmãs biológicas que se tornaram freiras no instituto Iesu Communio
Francisco Veneto
The 5 biological sisters who joined the religious life in just tw...
Philip Kosloski
Why is the feast of the Holy Cross celebrated on September 14?
Philip Kosloski
This prayer to St. Anthony is said to have “never been known to f...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.