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Student Profile: Eric Taft

PLATTSBURGH, NY __ On any given Friday night, most college students are preparing for an evening out. This is not the case for Eric Taft, a senior at the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh.

Senior Eric Taft Most Friday nights you can find Eric in the aisles of the Plattsburgh Hannaford supermarket, making sure that the shelves are fully stocked.

Eric isn't just a grocery associate; he is the assistant evening manager. That means Eric is in complete charge of the store when all of the managers leave for the day. He is responsible for overseeing all other departments, associates, customers as well as mechanical issues.

When asked why a full-time college student would take on such a position, Eric replied, "I like the challenge. I like the craziness of being in charge."

A criminal justice major from Morrisonville, N.Y., Eric is happy with his decision to attend Plattsburgh State.

"It's a good school, affordable and convenient," said Eric.

One of the most difficult aspects about working and going to school full-time is that it doesn't leave much time for himself.

"I never have a full day off," he said.

Nevertheless, going to school and working has its advantages. According to Eric, it teaches an individual how to be organized and responsible.

"I always have to have a plan," said Eric. "It also teaches you to have patience, people skills and time management skills."

Eric leads a driven life. A very competitive individual, his biggest fear is failure. He credits his drive for success to his father, Mark Taft.

"My dad is the biggest influence in my life just because of his work ethic; he worked so hard by himself to support a family of eight."

His mom, Johanne Taft, is another inspiration in his life along with his five siblings. Eric is the second of six children. His siblings include Adam (23), Peter (17), Rachel (14), Philip (12), and Mary (10).

"I love having a big family. There is always something going on. There is never a dull moment in my house."

Eric was born in San Diego, Calif., where he spent two years of his childhood before his parents decided to move to New York. He attended Peru High School and graduated in June 2002. While attending high school, Eric was an active member of Peru's basketball team. He served as co-captain and was nominated for the Warrior Award, which honors those athletes who never give up and could lead their team.

The next challenge in Eric's life is rapidly approaching. In May 2007, he will graduate from SUNY Plattsburgh. He then plans to explore career opportunities with the United States Border Patrol. He feels that he has acquired the necessary skills for this challenging job.

"It's time for a new challenge," said Eric, who hopes to be stationed in the Southwest, preferably Arizona.

When asked if he thinks that going to school and working at the same time has better prepared him for life, his firm reply was, "Absolutely."

For more information on how to apply to SUNY Plattsburgh, contact the Admissions Office at 518-564-2040 or 888-673-0012 or on the Web at http://www.plattsburgh.edu/admissions

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