Alumna helps empower students to keep learning

Today, Ornella Barile is the accessibility advisor for Palm Beach State College at the Boca Raton campus. In 2018, she was a Palm Beach State student who graduated with an Associate in Arts degree.

As both a Palm Beach State alum and an employee, Barile sees the College from two sides. For students, she encourages them to keep learning always. “Look for opportunities; they are out there waiting to be discovered.”

Simply put, Barile believes that we should never stop learning and growing, and that one of life’s true pleasures and responsibilities is to listen to one’s heart and follow our passions. By doing so, we discover our true potential, one that makes a positive impact on not only our future but also others as well.

With her background in psychology, Barile is serving our young people in tremendous ways. As the accessibility advisor, she provides students with much needed accommodations to ensure their success as learners, keeping them on solid academic and professional paths. Her individualized approach empowers students to see themselves positively with increased confidence in their abilities and capacity to be academically successful. In education, there is no greater gift we can provide than this, showing how Barile is a difference maker for her students, a remarkable example of giving back and paying forward.

Barile goes on to tell today’s Palm Beach State student, “Whether it’s through taking on new challenges, enrolling in additional courses, attending workshops or pursuing an internship, every opportunity to learn and grow can open doors to new possibilities.” Her words ring true as Palm Beach State is poised for an extraordinary 90th year of educating and impacting Palm Beach County. Advancements in health sciences, innovative technologies, cybersecurity and more are helping to define the College’s role as a catalyst that helps move the community forward.

For Barile, part of her strength and success has come from living, as she says, “one day at a time.” Recalling her own Palm Beach State experience, she has found this motto to be extremely helpful. “The college experience can be challenging and overwhelming, particularly for students juggling academic responsibilities, social activities and personal commitments.”

Barile’s reflections resonate easily for any student consumed by deadlines, exams and expectations, making it hard to see the finish line. Whether earning a degree or certification or going on to further schooling, the motto “one day at a time” can serve as a valuable reminder to focus on the present and appreciate where we are.

Barile’s own road allows her to appreciate both her past and present experiences, first as a student and now as an alum and advisor committed to the students and mission of the College that helped launch her own journey, one that continues today.

In recognition of Palm Beach State College’s 90th anniversary, the weekly Alumni Spotlight Series showcases the College’s role in preparing generations of graduates to achieve success in myriad careers and give back to their local communities.

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