In high school, Ariana knew she wanted to attend college. During her freshman year of high school, she discovered Advantage Lancaster, a non-profit mentoring program that extends learning opportunities for Lancaster County students throughout the school year and into the summer.
After joining as a freshman, Ariana made an effort to attend as many events and opportunities available. She immediately got involved in after-school sessions, summer programs, and college visits. The following summer, Ariana took an Algebra II course with Jenn Meadows—High School Director for Advantage Lancaster—at Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology.
Being involved with Advantage Lancaster throughout high school, Ariana learned valuable skills that she could use beyond the classroom. For Ariana, time management was something she continuously had to work on. “Mrs. Meadows always reminded me that time management was very important being that I was in the honors program, but also because I planned on attending college,” Ariana explains.
Ariana continues to work on her time management skills while attending college at West Chester University. The college transition was not necessarily an easy one for Ariana—who started her college career at Wilkes University—but quickly realized it was not the right fit. During this difficult time, Ariana turned to her mentors at Advantage Lancaster for guidance.
Ariana says, “When I would talk Mr. and Mrs. Meadows, Mr. Bair or Mrs. Sen, they made me feel proud of everything I had accomplished. They also motivated me during the transfer process. I love being a student at West Chester University; it was truly the best decision I have ever made. Advantage Lancaster has also showed me I was good enough to go to college.”
Today, Ariana is still involved with Advantage Lancaster in their college program and gives the program credit for her success, saying, “I am a first generation college student. I was lost and had no idea where to start, or if I was even college material. Advantage Lancaster showed me that I was more than just an ordinary student and that I could be successful.”
Advantage Lancaster strives to prepare students for higher education and ultimately a future career through various opportunities. Our “Just A Kid” Campaign is designed to recognize past and present Advantage Lancaster students and their successes. Help us provide opportunities for students like Ariana by getting involved!