Giving Back to Our Community: Emily, Advantage Lancaster Student

During Emily’s seventh grade year at Edward Hand Middle School, she was approached by her social studies teacher, Mr. Bair. He suggested that Emily consider joining Advantage Lancaster, a non-profit mentoring program that extends learning opportunities for Lancaster County students throughout the school year and into the summer.  Without question, Emily signed up.

During Emily’s first year with Advantage Lancaster, the group read and discussed the poem “The Rose That Grew From Concrete” by Tupac Shakur, as well as the novel Surviving Hitler by Andrea Warren. “Both readings gave me a profound sense of community and perseverance at such a young age, that I often think back and realize the time spent with Advantage Lancaster allowed me to grow into the person I am today,” Emily explains.

For the past ten years, Emily has been a part of Advantage Lancaster—as a student, volunteer, assistant, and mentor. Today, Emily considers her decision to join Advantage Lancaster as one of the best decisions she has ever made.

While working with Advantage Lancaster, Emily learned valuable lessons from their five fundamental principles: education, community service, wellness, small business opportunities, and art appreciation. The core lessons Advantage Lancaster promotes have influenced Emily to pursue a higher education and career.

“Advantage Lancaster’s pillar for community was my primary driving force to pursue a degree in nutrition and to someday become a Registered Dietitian. The idea of giving back was instilled in me through Advantage Lancaster, and it is my dream to help those in my community reach their health goals through nutritional interventions,” Emily explains.

Since high school, Emily has gone on to graduate from West Chester University with honors, and is currently pursuing an internship at Penn State Hershey Medical in their Dietary Nutrition program. Emily attributes her success and the opportunities she has today to Advantage Lancaster, stating, “Advantage Lancaster helped me through every step of my high school and college experience, and I will always be indebted to them.”

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 Emily by getting involved!

For more information, or to purchase our “Just A Kid” t-shirt, please visit