Wilkinsburg resident and newly-minted Pitt graduate Marie Bracy shares her story, in her own words
“An important part of life is completing things you’ve started. When you don’t complete some things in life it can be like a thorn in your side. God gave me the grace and mercy to get the thorn out of my side.
I’ve had several personal family tragedies and crises that interrupted my ability to complete my education (stepfather killed, brother murdered, and sister became ill, which required me to help raise her four children and take care of her). The Bible says, ‘In this world we will have tribulations.’
The hardest part about college was worrying about other people’s feelings about diversity. I had the challenge of ageism, I lost most of my hearing to Meniere’s disease, and I have vitiligo. I told myself, ‘It’s going to take a lot of courage to sit in a classroom full of people young enough to be your grandchildren,’ but by God’s grace I met the challenge. I took one step and God took two and my hard work paid off. I hope that I can be an example to others, that if I can do it, so can they.
When my brother was murdered, I was at Shaw University. My mother made me come home. I enrolled at Pitt but the pain was too great, plus my sister got sick. I went to school for Drafting so that I could get a job quickly to help take care of my sister’s kids, and I got a job as the first female and Black draftsperson in the Westinghouse science and research patent law department.