The Incoming Class of 2012
Every fall, new students arrive on campus looking for a career, an in-demand skill or the next big opportunity. Collectively, these diverse learners are the Incoming Class of 2012.
This year, Transcripts approached just a few of them, and asked that they take us along on their journey. Throughout the year, we will share their experiences and challenges, and update you on their progress. Coming from across the city, this mosaic of learners ranges from recent high school graduates to individuals in search of new careers.
New faces on campus:
For Brandon Luroe, 19, Community College of Philadelphia has become an important family tradition. A recent graduate of Northeast High School, Brandon is among the 20 new Robert S. King Scholars. His sister, Brittany, was a Robert King Scholar in 2009. So far, he’s been very impressed by the friendliness of the staff. “Everybody is friendly, and they are there to help you,” said Brandon, who is taking classes at the Northeast. Just like his big sister, Brandon has earned a scholarship that pays tuition and fees. “It was like a gift from God,” he says. “For my parents, Christmas came early.” An Early Childhood Education major, Brandon plans to graduate in 2014 and follow his sister to Holy Family University. She, too, seeks a career as a teacher.
Alfreda Brundidge has an M.B.A. Yet, at age 44, she finds herself back in school, at her local community college. Her objective is to add skills that will make her résumé stand out. “I had no idea I would be returning to school ” she says. “With the economy and layoffs, I’ve been unemployed for almost four years now. It’s a little disappointing after all of my education and work experience.” The former risk management consultant for Wells Fargo is working on a five-course Network and Systems Administration proficiency certificate at the Center for Business and Industry. “I think I had fallen behind in some of my skills so I wanted to take some classes to help me get back on track,” she says. CBS 3 TV recently interviewed Brundidge, who advised her fellow unemployed to go back to school and remain proactive. “I’m confident this will help bring in some job offers.”
Vernon Mobley, 19, says his mother and sister left college before reaching their goals, but he is determined to break the pattern. “I hate letting myself down, so I will do whatever I need to do to make the finish line,” vows the Benjamin Franklin High School graduate, who lives in West Philadelphia. Now that he is in college, Mobley says he regrets not paying more attention in English class in high school. He recognized his mistake after attending the Center for Male Engagement’s summer program. "It was a sneak peek of what we would be doing and preparing us to deal with it," he says. The Center's goal is to increase retention among young African-American male students. “I see the importance of it now, and I’m upset that it took me this long,” says Mobley, who will work part time to pay for college and take on student loans.
Delsa Burch and William Hollis are starting out with great expectations this fall—Hollis as a student in the Digital Video Production program and Burch in Behavioral Health. The engaged couple, both age 42, met more than a year ago and are building a new life for themselves and Burch’s young daughters. The entire family showed up for Welcome Day festivities. “My goal is to show my little girls that if momma can go to school and make it, they can too,” says Burch, who earned her GED last year and wants to become a mental health counselor. Going to college was her idea, and she pushed her fiancé to come along. Hollis is glad she did. “This is my second chance to do things right,” he says.