Monday, May 7, 2012

Peirce grad’s community service shines in Philadelphia

MAKING AN IMPACT: Peirce alumna Fareeda Mabry
changes lives through community service
“I was a kid when I walked in [to Peirce] and a woman when I walked out.”

That’s according to Fareeda Mabry, a member of the Peirce College class of 2002, who has taken her degree and used it as a tool in pursuing her life’s work of making a tangible impact on her community.

She’s now the Parent and Community Manager for the Family Student Resource Center at Universal Bluford Charter School, one of the Philadelphia-based charter schools sponsored by Universal Companies. Through her work with the Resource Centers, Fareeda puts her passion for community service and her education to work in providing support to students, as well as their parents and guardians, identifying and solving problems before they reach crisis level.

But her impact isn’t just felt in the classroom. She supports the students and families she works with in many ways beyond the academic, offering support in their personal lives. Whether establishing a community food bank at a school, comforting a child whose family member has been shot, or serving parents who have their own issues with illiteracy or unemployment, Fareeda’s work takes a holistic approach to student success.

Fareeda acknowledges the important role that Peirce played in the development of her social consciousness. She credits her classroom experience with realizing the power one person has to create positive change and make an impact. “The first time I really understood politics was in class at Peirce … I had heard the buzzword, but really started to conceptualize it then.”

A longstanding community leader, Fareeda has been a candidate for elected office, an activist at Olney High, and a social entrepreneur. She recently founded an initiative called Operation Warm Hearts to collect blankets for the homeless in Philadelphia, and uses social media -- including her own blog -- to highlight important issues of the day. She is a model of the power one person can have in improving the world.

Fareeda exemplifies how to leverage your education to be a part of the solution to critical problems affecting our society. The benefits of lifelong learning extend far beyond the classroom. Fareeda’s education has transformed not only her own place in her community, but the lives of so many others as well.

There is no better way to illustrate the power of education to transform lives than through the stories of alumni like Fareeda. If you’re wondering if you can change your life, and the lives of others, consider Fareeda’s story and know that you can do this too!