'My Brain Was Bored'
Lander College of Arts & Sciences's Rachel Freier went from being a legal secretary to an attorney and director of an all-female EMT corps
At 30, Rachel Freier, a legal secretary in a venerable Manhattan firm, came to a stunning realization. “My brain,” she says, “was bored.”
With equal parts trepidation and determination, Freier decided to treat her brain to a college education at Touro’s Lander College of Arts and Sciences in Flatbush. It wasn’t easy. She had three kids, a husband, and a full time job. Moreover, she is a Hasidic Jew, and women in her tightly knit religious community are more inclined to stay home and attend to family. “I’m no rebel - I love my religion and my community,” says Freier, now a mother of six. “I credit Touro for crystalizing for me that being religious and being educated is not a contradiction!”
Today, Freier, 49, is a real estate attorney, who shares an office with her husband, a Touro graduate as well, who works in commercial finance. In her heart of hearts, however, she is an advocate. “My Touro experience was the springboard and the preparation for so many aspects of my life,” she says, “particularly my passion for advocacy.”
Freier wasted no time establishing her bona fides. Three years ago she advocated for a group of women emergency medical technicians who wished to serve their religious community of Borough Park by joining an established and male-only ambulance corps. When that effort failed, “I decided I was going to make this happen,” says Freier, “even if I had to become director of a new all-women corps - and an EMT!” Done and done.