Like many a working adult, it took Marcia Feuer quite a while to get her baccalaureate degree. “It took me 17 years,” including stints in Vermont and at Hofstra University before coming to Adelphi.
Like many a working adult, it took Marcia Feuer quite a while to get her baccalaureate degree. “It took me 17 years,” including stints in Vermont and at Hofstra University before coming to Adelphi. That’s because, she says, “I had no interest. I didn’t know what I wanted to do.”
In the 1980s, her attitude changed. Ms. Feuer, now director of public policy at the Mental Health Association of Nassau County (MHANC), graduated with a B.A. degree from University College in 1987—when it was known as ABLE (Adult Baccalaureate Learning Experience).
Then married with children, she recalls, “I went back to college for the joy of learning. Being with other older students returning to school who were motivated to learn was energizing to me.”
Again like many working adults, she attended University College on a part-time basis. “The flexible schedule—evenings, Saturdays—worked very well for me,” given her job and family commitments.
But, Ms. Feuer confesses, her career direction was unclear—until she met an adjunct Adelphi professor. This teacher, whose class in English composition she attended for two semesters, took an interest in her, sparked by the fact that “she liked my writing and public speaking skills. She became a wonderful mentor for me.” Chats about the professor’s daughter being a lawyer led Ms. Feuer to become interested in law.
Because of her mentor, Ms. Feuer took Law School Admission Test (LSAT) preparation courses at Adelphi and did well on the exam. After University College graduation (no. 2 in her class), she attended Hofstra Law School, learning her J.D. in 1990.
After stints with a municipal law firm and a real estate firm, Ms. Feuer joined the Hempstead- based MHANC in 1994 as a part-time staff advocate. “I’ve been there ever since,” albeit with a bigger title now, concentrating on children and geriatric mental health advocacy.
Although this position seems like a departure from her background, Ms. Feuer sees a connection. “I didn’t need a law degree for that, but it’s akin to public interest law,” she observes. “Mental health is a social justice issue, given the discrimination against those with mental health problems.”
Ms. Feuer derives the greatest satisfaction from “helping families find their voice and know their rights to help their children, and from being part of the system that recognizes mental health as a legitimate illness.”
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