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Learn From the Best: GRCC's Sue DelRaso tells students it’s never too late to pursue a change

Dec. 8, 2022, GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Sue DelRaso loves working with GRCC students, because she was once in their shoes. 

DelRaso came to GRCC pursuing a complete career change. She had been working as an executive assistant for nearly 20 years while also managing debilitating migraines. After doctors in 2004 informed her to reduce stressors in her life, DelRaso enrolled at GRCC and pursued a new career path in Computer Applications. 

DelRaso came to GRCC as a mother of a middle school student and recalls studying and doing homework with her son. 

On top of juggling studying, attending classes, and being a mom, she began working at the Wisner-Bottrall Applied Technology Center Computer Lab as a student tutor. 

DelRaso began receiving more responsibilities and worked her way up as she completed her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Ferris State University. 

Finally, in 2009 she started working full time at GRCC and is now the tutorial coordinator for the ATC and the Open Computer Lab, Mechanical & Architectural/CAD Lab, and the Sneden Computer Lab. 

DelRaso said the best part of her job is getting to meet and help a variety of people.

“It’s fun to see the light bulb go off when a student finally understands,” she said.

DelRaso’s tutoring strategy involves helping students find answers themselves, rather than giving them the answers. She encourages tutors to ask students questions to find the answer. 

Students should leave with the tools to solve problems themselves in the future. It works, too. One particular student who graduated with honors, credits the tutoring lab for giving him the skills he needed. 

DelRaso is proud to have watched GRCC change and grow for the past 19 years. 

“We have been changing and adapting to what goes on in the community and the job force;  evolving what we offer and how we offer it,'' she said. 

The changes we are making allow us to better serve our students. DelRaso uses her own story to prove it is never too late to start a new career or go back to school. Encouraging students not to give up.  

“There’s always people who are willing to help you,” she said. “We want you to succeed, we are doing everything we can to help you succeed”. 

More information about the ATC Tutorial Lab and Open Computer Lab can be found here.