Student Spotlight: Tim Restani

Succeeding @ OCC
Tim Restani at PTK
Tim Restani is a proud new member of OCC's chapter of international honor society Phi Theta Kappa. He's pictured on the second floor of Coulter Hall.
  • Majors: Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counseling, Human Services 
  • High School: Liverpool, class of 1982

Tim Restani almost can't believe what he's accomplished. He's in his final full-time semester at OCC and is on the brink of earning two degrees. In October he was inducted into the College's chapter of international honor society Phi Theta Kappa one day after turning 55 years old. In many ways it doesn't seem real. "Three years ago if someone would have told me this is where I'd be I would have told them 'no way.' I was sure I would be dead by now."

Restani is a recovering alcohol addict who hit rock bottom three years ago. He remembers the date it happened. "It was May 6, 2017. I overdosed. I had a near-death out-of-body experience. When I came to I said 'it's time to change your ways Tim.' I was going nowhere. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired." He would spend nearly a month in rehab followed by outpatient therapy.

2017 was also the year Restani became a student at OCC. He entered as an Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counseling major and added the Human Services major when he learned he could earn a second degree by staying just one extra semester. The College has been a perfect fit for him. "I love it here. This is such a wonderful campus. All of the professors genuinely care. This is a very enjoyable, peaceful, pleasant place to come to. I look forward to coming here every day. OCC has become a big part of my life. I will always have ties here."

Outside class, Restani does volunteer service-learning at the North Side Learning Center where he works with refugees. He also participates in OCC Peer Recovery Group Meetings which are open for all to attend. They're held Tuesday's from 4:30-5:30 p.m. and Wednesday's from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. in Mawhinney Hall room M280. "I feel fortunate to still be here. I attend AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) meetings regularly. I give back to those who attend and are new. If I want to maintain sobriety I will have to work on it the rest of my life. My whole life revolves around recovery today."

In the spring Restani will complete work toward his two degrees and begin working toward his bachelor's at SUNY Empire College. His goal there is a degree in Community and Human Services. Long term he also plans to work at a recovery facility, helping people like himself who are taking life and recovery one day at a time.

Restani PTK induction
Tim Restani (left) shakes hands with OCC President Dr. Casey Crabill (right) as he is inducted into the College's chapter of international honor society Phi Theta Kappa.
Onondaga Community College
Liverpool High School
Phi Theta Kappa