Friday, March 9, 2018

No Hardship Could Stop Ida Keyes From Pursuing Her Dreams

The word “perseverance” doesn’t even begin to do justice for one of our Peirce College at Deliverance students. From overcoming breast cancer to receiving brain surgery, Ida Keyes is an inspiration to us all.

Ida joined the Peirce community in fall 2017 entering into the Criminal Justice program. She is one of the first students to participate in our partnership with Deliverance Evangelistic Church. Ida found this opportunity after pursuing her associate degree with Harcum College, but her educational journey was not as smooth as it is for some.

Ida always knew she wanted to earn her degree not only for herself, but for her children and her mother. Unfortunately, life got in the way and Ida battled with breast cancer (and won!!) and then was in a bad car accident, which set her back by many years. But she wasn’t letting life get her down. She knew what her goals and dreams were and she was set on achieving them.

After finally being able to enroll at Harcum College in 2014, Ida pushed through the balance of work, life and school. As Harcum’s graduation quickly approached, though, Ida wasn’t sure if moving on was the right decision for her. She had lost her mother halfway through her associate degree pursuit leaving her feeling a bit uninspired, but with the help of fellow classmates, she was able to get the support she needed.

“As I was preparing for my graduation from Harcum, my classmates, Tariq and Kim, surrounded me and encouraged me to continue on with earning my bachelor’s degree,” Ida explained, “With my mom passing during my associate degree, I wasn’t sure I had it in me, but with friends like them, it was hard to say no.”

Additionally, Ida mentioned, Celeste Atkins, Deliverance’s Coordinator for Education, provided her with a large amount of support and prayer necessary for her to find the strength to keep going.

After receiving the push she needed, she connected with Peirce College at Deliverance and found her niche. As a Philadelphia Police Officer, Ida knew the Criminal Justice program was exactly what she wanted to pursue.

As if life hadn’t thrown enough curve balls yet, right before classes started in September, Ida received the news she would need brain surgery. So in June 2017, Ida underwent the procedure successfully, coming out still eager and ready to learn! She kept with her plan and schedule and started in September 2017 only three short months after this life-changing experience.

Working with her advisor, Stephen Bernardini, she was able to register for classes and has found success with the partnership since. “I really enjoy the flexibility and the opportunity to attend class at the church and take part in the activities on Peirce’s campus!”

Ida raves about her Peirce professors, one in particular, who has brought the passion back to Ida’s educational journey that Ida had been looking for, “Times have been tough, but Professor Christa Donato has saved me. She pulled me through my slump and has inspired me to continue moving forward.”

As Ida keeps chasing her educational dreams and letting nothing stand in her way, she wanted to share some advice for anyone who is considering going back to school like she did. “Don’t let anything stand in your way. Fight for your goals, fight for what you want!” exclaimed Ida, “If you don’t chase your dreams, you will never achieve them.”

We wish Ida nothing but continued success as she keeps moving forward and inspiring all of us to follow our dreams, no matter what life may throw our way.

If you are interested in taking part or learning more about our Peirce College at Deliverance partnership, please contact me, Tom Tschop, Manager, Institutional Enrollment, at 215.670.9203 or