Hard-working couple finish degrees, hope to represent less fortunate Vermonters
BENNINGTON — When Ivy Post was seven-years-old, she wished to be a part of her grandmother's library's reading club in Staten Island, N.Y., but was rejected due to not being a resident. She responded to that with, "I understand, but when my dad becomes a lawyer, we will come back and argue your policy."
Ivy's dad, Robert Post, will become that lawyer in May of this year after obtaining a Master's degree from Vermont Law School at the age of 35. His wife, Alycia, 31, will do the same, graduating from Goddard College with a Masters in psychology.
"He [Robert] had a strong sense of justice and wanted everything to be fair and always took the role of underdog [as a child]," Robert's mother, JoAnne Post Kaplan said. "He's very much a people person. He was delightful, creative and a funny child who had a natural for politics."
Even in elementary school, Post disagreed with conforming to the institution's policy in wearing a uniform. He said, "No I'm not going to wear that. I'm not gonna let the man get me down," Kaplan reflected.
The Posts completed their Associate's degrees at the Community College of Vermont in 2011 and then enrolled at Johnson State College's External Degree Program to complete their Bachelor's in 2013, as previously mentioned in the Banner.
"I'm just grateful to be able to have the opportunities I had," Robert Post said. "I think everyone can do it. I don't think I'm special, we just don't make excuses and work really hard."
Post explained that the challenges his family overcame could have put a stop to their dreams, however they push passed them till the end. The couple's mind-set drove them to success and set an example for their children to never give up.
"After realizing the programs are there, it becomes an attitude to not think it's impossible and you have to dive in and go for it," Post said. "There were so many things that got in our way, but we just kept working through the problem one thing at a time, and you eventually get to the end. It just has to happen, there's not gonna be quitting. It's attitude; being positive about it and keeping your ears to the ground and what could happen going forward."
The Posts met in Boston while Robert was working for a phone store and Alycia approached him as a customer. Robert is originally from Staten Island, but wanted a clean existence and affordable living, so he and his wife decided to migrate to Vermont with their eight-month-old girl.
Kaplan explained that the couple gradually became entrenched in the Bennington community as Robert coached a girls softball team and worked in the theater at Bennington College, his former passion. Alycia was a waitress and followed her path to church and became the director of a Christian education program. Robert also had family in the area, which made it easier to relocate.
The couple simultaneously traveled through college and succeeded and hope to give back to the community, friends and family who helped them through their journey.
"We're working class people and didn't have much to begin with, and if it wasn't for the help from the community and friends and family, we wouldn't be here," Post said. "I have gratitude for people who have helped me."
Robert and Alycia are examples for their children by working hard and not complaining. Robert hopes their behaviors translate into an attitude for the children to not expect something to just come to them.
"You can get through what you're going right now, everything else is just an excuse, if they can do this anybody can do it," Kaplan said. "I think that's what their message is."
Since 2011, the Posts got their Associates and Bachelors degrees and gave their first daughter two new siblings. Looking forward, Robert will embark on the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign starting this week, while finishing law school, and Alycia currently works as a case manager with a dream to make Vermont residents healthier. They now reside in Montpelier for schooling, but still own a house in the area.
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