I grew up in Lancaster City. I really enjoyed growing up in Lancaster because there are so many different types of people. I attended Edward Hand Middle School from six to eight grades. I just went to school, did my homework and really didn’t think much of school. I didn’t really care about school to be honest I was more into sports. While in Middle school I didn’t really think about college or pursuing an education after high school. I never visited a college campus until I entered the Advantage Lancaster program.
Advantage Lancaster allowed me to be exposed to college and to other places besides Lancaster. My parents weren’t really the type to take me on college tours so it was nice to have my educators take on that roll, I needed that. Being a part of the program allowed me to dream. I dreamt about my future, I dreamt about changing my circumstance. While in Advantage Lancaster I built relationships with people of different backgrounds and remained friends with them throughout the years. The program required us to read books and do book reports weekly, I’d like to say, I now have a love for reading.
Advantage Lancaster taught me to have a good work ethic. I bring that with me every day as a professional. Although we had fun in the program we still had to complete our assignments and we were held accountable for our action. Still to this day I take pride in my work ethic. In Advantage Lancaster we had classes at the Urban League (which no longer exist in Lancaster) weekly where we learned how to create a resume and other soft skills related to jobs and careers.
A life changing moment in my life is when I lost my Mom at 19 which was the hardest thing that I have ever experienced. That experience helped me understand my calling in life so I currently work at the hospital that my Mom passed in. I saw and felt the compassion from the nurses, which made me want to give to others what they gave to me. I am currently working as a Licensed Practical Nurse.
I began my post-secondary education off at our local Community College (HACC) and did my general education course. I was still unsure of what I wanted to do with my life but I know it was in the medical profession. Then after a few semesters I dropped out after the passing of my Mom. I later attended vocational school and studied for my LPN degree. After completing that I went back to the Community College to start my education as a RN. I started it but shortly after failed out. I am a terrible test taker and RN school is based on nothing but tests…I failed a final by 3 points which kicked me out of the program. Clinically I excelled, being hands on and caring for the patients was easy for me but unfortunately that did not count towards my grade. So now I am working as an LPN and will eventually return to school at the right time.
I work as an LPN at 2 jobs. I do not have children one day I would love to. I have two nephews that I am absolutely obsessed with. I live in an apartment in a great neighborhood. I absolutely love traveling.
Advantage Lancaster helped me see beyond a life in Lancaster. Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed growing up in Lancaster but there is so much more to this world. I have a love for traveling and have been out of the country several times.
If I could give Mr. Meadows and Mr. Bair advice it would be to remain open-minded. It’s different now than when I was in school. Time has changed and kids are different. Continue to be that light for some children especially the ones that don’t have a lot of support at home. Instill in them to reach for the stars regardless of their circumstances, like you did with us over 10 years ago…geesh I am getting old! I am so thankful and appreciative for the opportunity to be a part of such a wonderful program. It’s great to see Advantage Lancaster expand and improve each year.