Donna Raposa describes MassBay Community College as "very much a part of who I am." In 2014, 45 years after graduating with an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts, Ms. Raposa will celebrate her 18th year in the MassBay Admissions Office.
After graduating from Sacred Heart High School in East Boston Ms. Raposa enrolled at MassBay at the suggestion of the school principal, who served as a de facto guidance counselor. While she always had a passion for theater arts, at the time she was fairly certain she was going to become a fifth grade teacher. But that plan changed when she took a Music Appreciation class taught by one of MassBay's most beloved professors, Virginia Sapienza.
"Professor Sapienza told the class that we ought to do what we love to do," recalls Ms. Raposa. "She told us not to settle for second best, but to find our passion and figure out how to make it happen." Professor Sapienza's words inspired Ms. Raposa to explore her passion for theater arts.
After graduating from MassBay in 1969, Ms. Raposa transferred her credits to Emerson College where she earned her Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in Communications. The day after graduating from Emerson, she began an 18-year career teaching theater arts to middle and high school students in the Watertown Public Schools. She produced musicals, plays, and special performances the students put on. By 1989, Ms. Raposa earned a license to become a talent agent, and a year later, she opened a successful personal management company that serviced nearly 150 actors throughout New England.
In 1996 she had a choice to make: uproot her family and move to Los Angeles to grow her business, or stay home in Massachusetts and find a different line of work. She cherished her time at MassBay and she credits the people there for helping her find her passion, so when she heard that the Director of Recruitment position was available, she went after it. She was hired and was subsequently promoted to Director of Admissions in 1999. She has been with the College in that capacity ever since.
"I impart on people that I am an alumna, and that I truly believe in the positive affect community colleges have on people's lives," she says. ''This is not just a job - for me it is a mission."