by Rebecca Rakoczy
Georgia Perimeter College student Bruce Bochicchio has become the first male ever to receive the Executive Women International ASIST scholarship. He is also the first recipient, male or female, from the state of Georgia.
The $10,000 EWI scholarship—Adult Students in Scholastic Transition—supports non-traditional students who are pursuing higher education.
Bochicchio, a business administration major at GPC’s Alpharetta Center, is a retired police officer who has worked through a series of setbacks in his professional and personal life. He is a divorced father of six, two of whom are the adopted children of his late brother.
Going to college in his 40s was an important decision for Bochicchio. With four children in college, but no degree himself, he enrolled at GPC in 2010.
The Connecticut native had years of both police work and entrepreneurial experience behind him, but because he didn’t have a college degree, he couldn’t get a job. “Without a degree, it doesn’t mean anything … I was up against MBAs,” he said. “I found myself unemployable, with no job opportunities.”
Choosing Georgia Perimeter to further his education was easy, he said. “I saw all that GPC had to offer, and the cost was low; the teachers were all teachers—they weren’t teaching assistants,” Bochicchio said.
Another factor in Bochicchio’s decision is that GPC’s Alpharetta Center is an easy commute from his Cumming home, which allows him to handle his children’s school schedules. Bochicchio also has become involved in campus activities and was elected treasurer and then president of the Alpharetta Student Government Association.
Now 47, Bochicchio is on track to graduate next May. He plans to then attend Georgia State University to earn his bachelor’s degree in business and economics. That also is an easy decision—his “commute” will be across the parking lot from GPC’s Alpharetta Center to GSU’s own Alpharetta campus.
Bochicchio was surprised by the award, which he received during a dinner given by the Atlanta EWI chapter. He had previously received a $2,000 Atlanta EWI chapter award, making him eligible for the national scholarship.
“I can’t explain how positive this has been—the award has made an impact and given me a boost in a lot of different ways—not just economically,” Bochicchio said.
“We are all thrilled for Bruce, who is very deserving of this scholarship on so many levels,” said Janet Spix, EWI Atlanta director-at-large. “He is hard working and found himself in circumstances that might have overwhelmed many people, but instead he kept his head up and continued to move forward. We know the benefits he is receiving now he will pass on to his children and to his brother’s children. So, while he is the recipient, many will benefit in a positive way from this gift from EWI corporate.”