Suzanne Caperton always thought she’d earn her college degree right after high school. Then life happened.
On Monday, Caperton — Jamaican immigrant, youngest of five, mother of six — will graduate with her bachelor’s degree in organizational management. The Lake Worth Beach resident juggled school with her full-time job as an information and referral specialist at the Area Agency on Aging in West Palm Beach.
She excelled, earning a spot on the President’s List every semester.
“I am highly-detailed and focused, and that has helped me a lot prioritizing my responsibilities,” Caperton said. “I love the rigorous academic work.”
At her day job, Caperton provides resources to seniors and adults with disabilities and their families and caregivers. She enjoys meeting their needs and believes God is calling her to continue serving them.
In the evening, Caperton attended classes, where she learned how to lead with the Christ-like values involved in servant leadership.
“Being a leader is first knowing who you are,” Caperton said. “In turn, it will express itself in how you treat others, how you lead others and how you interact with others.”
Caperton’s PBA education has equipped her to be a better listener and be more mindful when she interacts with the clients and families that she serve, she said. Her professors in the Catherine T. MacArthur School of Leadership shared about their own gifts and experiences as they taught, emphasizing the importance of putting Christ first. They made themselves available outside of class for questions or prayer requests.
Caperton’s husband, Scott, has been her most avid supporter, along with her parents — who both died while she worked toward her degree. She and her children, who range in age from 14 to 25, also cheered each other on as they kept moving in God’s direction for their lives.
“God has given each of us goals to achieve, aspirations and a vision only He has placed in each heart to do, even though it may not be fully realized at present,” Caperton said. “That summarizes where I’m at and where I’m going, with God’s help.”
Photo: Suzanne Caperton, the outstanding graduate from the Catherine T. MacArthur School of Leadership, and Dr. Craig Domeck, the school's dean, pose for a photo at a special chapel honoring high-achieving graduates.