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Student Profiles

The College of Liberal and Professional Studies opens up worlds of possibility for Penn’s Bachelor of Arts students. Read about our students who come from different backgrounds and have traveled unique paths to find their academic home at Penn.

  • Bachelor of Arts, Health and Societies, 2016-expected

    After eight years and two deployments with the Air Force, Deborah Trimble wanted an academic challenge that would expand her mind and let her help people. Listen to Deborah share how Penn’s College of Liberal and Professional Studies is helping her achieve those goals and is bringing her closer to becoming a physician.

  • Bachelor of Arts, Political Science, 2016-expected

    When Rashan Prailow graduated from high school, he was not among the top students in his class and did not think college was in his future plans. However, one year after he graduated from high school, Rashan set out to earn his associate degree. He encountered some isolating challenges as a commuting student and lost focus when cost became an issue. Rashan left and began to work on home remodeling for his uncle’s business. Although he was earning wages, Rashan didn’t see himself working in the field long-term. Two years later, largely motivated by the success of his cousin who attended Camden County College and went on to attend New Jersey’s private Drew University, Rashan registered at Camden County College to pursue his education.

    “When you grow up in an impoverished area, there aren’t a lot of mentors or opportunities. My cousin was a good example of showing me that education could change my life for the better and I bought into the concept. I knew I needed to get more involved in my education in order to move on and create a better life for myself. My second stint at Camden County College was a lot different. I was more mature, focused, and determined to maximize on the opportunities that community colleges offer, which are often overlooked.

    I excelled and was admitted to every school that I applied to including Drew University, Rutgers Business School and the Lebow College of Business at Drexel University. I believe it was fate that let me to attend Penn. I was not even aware of the College of Liberal and Professional Studies until two weeks before my last semester. Recruiters from the College of Liberal and Professional Studies had set up a table at school and I went over. Recruiter Evangelyn Diaz made me believe Penn was the right choice for me.

    Having the opportunity to attend Penn is the opportunity of a lifetime and I now think differently about myself and what is ahead for me.

    I am taking advantage of all that Penn offers. When the corporate recruiters came to campus looking for summer interns, I went to meet with them. I applied, completed the application process and was able to land multiple interviews. Right now, I am being recruited by Capitol One, American Express and M&T Bank for their summer internship programs. I am optimistic that I will land one of them. I am also working full-time and studying with the Penn in Washington, D.C. program for the fall 2015 semester.

    With the many different campus resources, I’ve also been able to give back. The Black Wharton Undergraduate Association performs community service work and we reached out to middle school students from West Philadelphia. We taught them the basics of managing their money, how to open a checking account and be financially responsible. And through the Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization, for the past two years, I have been mentoring a fifth-grade student named Andrew at Our Mother of Sorrows elementary school on North 48th Street.

    My educational journey has been non-linear but very great. I know I want to continue on to graduate school. For those who might apply to the College of Liberal and Professional Studies, forget that you are a non-traditional student. I am 25. Put your education first and look to the future.”

  • Bachelor of Arts, Sociology, concentration in global and international studies, 2016-expected

    Aida Rodriguez immigrated to the United States from Mexico with her family when she was 6 years old. Her family started a new life in south Florida where Aida completed her elementary and secondary education. Aida then enrolled in Palm Beach State College and with her excellent academic performance quickly became eligible for the national two-year honor society, Phi Theta Kappa. Upon learning of Aida’s accomplishment, the College of Liberal and Professional Studies (LPS) reached out to congratulate her on her academic achievement. Because Aida demonstrated considerable potential as a scholar, LPS suggested that she consider applying to Penn to complete her Bachelor of Arts. Aida began to research funding opportunities in order to transfer into a four-year university and attend as a full-time student.

    “When I found out about the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, I set a goal for myself to be selected for its undergraduate transfer scholarship. I was encouraged by the foundation’s motto of, 'Think big. Work hard. Achieve.' and decided to apply to highly selective schools across the country as a transfer student. What I liked about Penn is its location in a diverse city and its programs’ focus on research.

    In 2013, I was awarded the scholarship and accepted at Penn. It was so exciting and life-changing. My mother was extremely proud of me and very supportive about my moving away for school.

    Initially, it was challenging getting used to the rigor of my studies without the safety net of living at home. LPS has been very supportive. And I found many resources on campus to help me adjust.

    I also found support with the other Jack Kent Cooke Foundation scholars in the area. A group of us meets regularly and I am now part of the foundation’s Student Association and help plan our gatherings.

    My experiences as an immigrant have empowered me and guided my academic interests and work. I have focused my studies on immigration and migration patterns and have dedicated my extracurricular activities to immigrant rights advocacy. I am excited by my classes and have focused on my academics, but I have found time to work with the immigrant community in South Philadelphia.

    I know I want to go to graduate school to study social policy; I may even consider going to law school. Eventually, I want to work at a non-profit organization that serves immigrant communities. My Penn experience has been rewarding. It has provided me with the confidence to continue to thinking big, working hard and achieving.”

Inside the Program

Where do our Bachelor of Arts LPS students come from?

Where do our Bachelor of Arts LPS students come from?

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