Monday, May 12, 2014

Mother-daughter duo conquer college together

Shiela will graduate together on June 9
Raye and Shiela Goldsborough are the mother-daughter duo being recognized throughout the city for their hard work, determination, and teamwork in earning their degrees together. You might have seen their story featured in the Philadelphia Business Journal on Friday, and here on NBC 10 this morning.
Over 20 years ago, Raye Goldsborough made a promise to her parents that she would finish college. At the time, she never imagined that she would accomplish that goal with her daughter by her side, completing her own education.

Raye grew up in North Philadelphia and attended high school at Dobbins Vocational School, where she focused on bookkeeping. Her passion for numbers and accounting first attracted her to Peirce in 1981, but she ultimately decided to leave school and pursue a job in the banking industry as well as starting a family.

When her daughter Shiela was entering her junior year of high school, Raye decided it was the right time to continue her education, and immediately thought of Peirce. “I thought of Peirce because I was familiar with the school. I was familiar with their curriculums,” Raye told us. “Then, I found out that the school was now a four-year program and they still had all of my information from back in 1981!”

That made Raye’s enrollment process much smoother, and in 2010, she entered the College’s Business Administration Program. She chose Business Administration because she knew it would give her the edge she needed to climb higher in her career – she had worked in the banking industry all of her life and in the management field for the past 10 years.

During her second time as a Peirce student, Raye sees the value in obtaining a degree more than ever. “Back in the 80’s, you didn’t necessarily need a college degree to move up in a company. If you had a high school diploma, you’d be able to work your way up the ladder. Nowadays, with new technology and with what the colleges are now offering, people in their 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s, are thinking, ‘Hey, let me go back, put a little bit more under my belt and it will not only look good on my resume but it also puts me at a place where I’m kind of stable, and where I have that educational background as well as the experience.’”

Raye completed her studies with a mix of online and on-campus courses, which she advises new and prospective students to take advantage of. “I do believe that if online classes were not offered at Peirce, I wouldn’t have made the decision to go back to school. But it was because I had the flexibility to do things at my own pace, also to communicate with the professors and with classmates through the computer while also having the option to do it in-person, that it worked out so well.”

Raye will graduate with bachelor’s degree in June, fulfilling a promise she made to herself and her family decades ago. “It was a promise I made to myself and I made to my parents. My parents are no longer here, but this was something I wanted to personally accomplish.”

Raye’s daughter Shiela, who enrolled in the Colleges Paralegal Studies in in 2010, found Peirce through her mother. After high school, Shiela attended college out-of-state, but after one semester, she found that it wasn’t for her. Shiela found herself visiting home often, and one day, had a conversation about Peirce with her mother. After finding out that the College had her desired major and a four year program, she applied the very next day.

As Shiela and Raye attended Peirce together, they supported each other along the way. “My mom’s always been supportive of me, no matter what. I told her when I was just seven, ‘I’m going to be a lawyer when I grow up.’ She said that I can do it then. When I told her I was going to major in Paralegal Studies at Peirce, and she said I can do it and that’s what I did.” 

Over the past four years, Shiela and Raye have been pillars of support for each other. At times, the two took the same classes and were able to bounce assignments and questions off of each other. When they encountered a particularly tricky course, they entered tutoring together. Raye took time to meet her daughter’s teachers, and they gave each other feedback until the very end.

Now, in a little less than a month, the two of them will graduate together; Raye with her bachelor’s degree and Shiela with her associate’s. And we are so proud of them! Thanks so much for sharing your story, ladies!