Commencement Stories: Barbara Demoney, lead preschool teacher succeeds at adult learning

Barb 1Barbara Demoney is a 2016 Excelsior Graduate who earned a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Arts degree. Demoney lives in Vestal, New York with her husband, Brian, two children, Conner (age 12) and Kyla (age 11), dog, Simba, and two cats, Sunny and Snickers. After finishing her associate degree at Broome Community College in 2012, she was introduced to Excelsior College by a Broome affiliate and was able to transfer all of her associate degree college credits to Excelsior toward her bachelor’s degree. Faced with working 30 hours a week, raising two children and volunteering as a Sunday School teacher at her local church, Demoney was able to finish all her school work with love and support from her family. Demoney is excited to use her degree to pursue her passion for helping others. In her free time, she enjoys running with family in local 5K races, doing yoga and Pilates, and hanging out with friends. Demoney will be attending the Commencement ceremony in July with her husband and their two children.


Excelsior Life: When did you decide to go back to school? Why did you want to secure a degree?

Demoney: I decided to go back to school first in 2010. I wanted to be a teacher, so I earned my associate degree in early childhood education from Broome Community College in 2012. I then decided in 2014 to go back to earn my bachelor’s degree, and transferred to Excelsior College. They took all of my college credits and I was able to graduate with my bachelor’s degree in liberal arts with a concentration in human services in December 2015.

Excelsior Life: What programs and/or courses were most influential to you?

Demoney: The most influential courses I took were a juvenile delinquency class that taught me a lot about the way poverty adversely affects today’s youth, and a criminology class that helped me better understand how both genetics and a person’s home and cultural environment can have a huge impact on whether that individual will later succeed in life or may end up in jail.

Excelsior Life: Did you face any academic challenges along the way? How did you overcome them?

Demoney: Some challenges I faced included working 30 hours a week, volunteering at church, completing all my homework assignments, raising two children and attending all their activities such as basketball games, baseball games, track meets, plays, dance, etc. and still finding time for my husband and even occasionally my friends. The way that I was able to accomplish all this, was with help from my husband. I remember when doing homework on many Saturdays and Sundays, my husband would take the kids to a movie while I wrote papers or took quizzes. I also had to manage my time wisely. I no longer got to spend much time on social media or playing games for fun.

Excelsior Life: Did you have a support system? If so, in what way did they help?

Demoney: Again, my husband was my main source of support. Without him I would not have been able to juggle work, school, kids and life in general. He helped me to balance it all. My place of work was also very supportive and allowed me to leave a little early during weeks when school was particularly demanding. My family was also very supportive by listening to me read my finished papers aloud to them, although I think they may be glad they no longer have to listen to me reading them anymore!

Barb Family
Demoney and family


Excelsior Life: How do you think your education will position you for life beyond your educational journey? What are your future plans?

Demoney: I am excited to see what new doors my degree will open for me. I have already received a raise at my job as a lead preschool teacher, but am looking for a job in my human services field and look forward to working as a Medicaid service coordinator, a caseworker or something that will enable me to help others in my community.

Excelsior Life: Do you think you have been able to apply what you have learned toward your career?

Demoney: Already I have applied a lot of what I learned in my classes to both my personal life and toward my career. I know I referred to my work a lot in my organizational business course and learned a lot about what it takes to run an organization efficiently and smoothly.

Excelsior Life: What does having this degree mean to you?

Demoney: It brings me pride knowing I have earned my bachelor’s degree, and I am even thinking of continuing my education online and eventually earning my master’s degree.


On July 8, hundreds of graduates from across the world will convene in Albany, New York for Excelsior College’s 2016 Commencement, to be held at the Empire State Plaza in downtown Albany, New YorkCommencement Stories” explores the stories of a few of this year’s notable graduates.

Emily Young
About Emily Young 70 Articles
Emily Young is the Social Media and Communities Manager for Excelsior College.

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