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Pharmacy tech student turns tragedy into triumph

Sera D’Ascano is moving past tragedy and transitioning into a new career.

Fifty-three-year-old Sera D’Ascano is moving past tragedy and transitioning into a new career thanks to Seminole State College of Florida’s new Pharmacy Technology and Management Program.

A decade ago the mother of three found herself staring face-to-face with a gun when a masked man entered the restaurant she was working in as an operations manager.

In a stroke of luck, the gun jammed when the assailant attempted to fire it, but D’Ascano didn’t walk away unscathed. Instead, she was beaten, leaving her with injuries that would take years to heal.

But D’Ascano’s experience changed her life in unexpected ways. During her recovery, she realized healthcare was her calling. At the urging of her family, she enrolled at Seminole State and became one of the first students to pursue the College’s new Associate in Science degree in pharmacy management.

D’Ascano says her experience at Seminole State has been exceptional. One of the things she likes most is the friendliness of the faculty and staff.

“Whenever you have a problem, somebody is always there to help you,” D’Ascano says. “The professors want every student to succeed.”

In fact, it was her instructor, Dr. Nagi Youssef, who introduced her to her major.

“It was like a light bulb went on,” D’Ascano says. “After I met with Dr. Youssef, I went home that night and told my husband I had figured out what I wanted to do with my life. I was so excited.”

After D’Ascano earns her associate degree, she plans to work toward her bachelor’s degree. Her goal is to work in pharmaceutical sales, a career in which she looks forward to sharing the knowledge she’s learned with others.

D’Ascano is proof education knows no limits, and that it’s possible to turn tragedy into triumph.

Her motto: “You’re never too old to follow your dreams.”

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