Friday, June 12, 2020

Reflecting Back on His Time at Peirce – Hear from DeVonte Douglass

This story was originally published on Peirce College's website found here.

Back in August 2019, Professor Mike Agnello introduced a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice student, DeVonte Douglass. At that point, DeVonte was engrossed in his studies and tackling different internships gaining both knowledge in and out of the classroom.

Now, I am thrilled to re-introduce DeVonte as a Class of 2020 graduate who finished his degree this past May.

Originally earning his Associate in Science in Criminal Justice from Peirce College in 2018, DeVonte moved right into his bachelor’s degree eager to continue his studies in the field where he found his calling.

“I chose the criminal justice program because I have family members who were done wrongfully by the criminal justice system. I want to be the change inside of our criminal justice system,” explained DeVonte. “I want to be able to get the victim or the State of Pennsylvania, the justice they deserve by restoring trust in our criminal justice system for both the victims and defendants who enter those courtrooms.”

With this burning passion, DeVonte plans to take his bachelor’s degree and move onto law school. He said, “I plan on using my degree in Criminal Justice to go back to school and become a criminal attorney either as a prosecutor or criminal defense attorney.”

DeVonte feels equipped to take this next step thanks to all his studies at Peirce College, but feels especially prepared thanks to one professor in particular. “I have gained knowledge from each and every one of my professors, including Associate Professor and Faculty Chair of Legal Studies, Michael Agnello who encouraged me to push forward to become a criminal attorney. He has continued to help put me on the right path with assisting with all of my questions and being there regarding the criminal justice program.”

Reflecting back on his time at Peirce, DeVonte shared, “My overall Peirce experience was a rewarding one. It came with challenges, which is expected when you are trying to better yourself.”

DeVonte elaborated on his challenges, explaining, “The challenges I faced were personal and financial both which could have stopped me from pursuing my degree. I thought about the people I would be disappointing when I felt like I did not want to pursue my degree any longer and it inspired me to keep going. The professors also always encouraged me to keep going no matter what. The professors were more accommodating than they needed to be, but it makes a difference when you have professors who care about you. Also, being a scholarship recipient two years in a row helped significantly with the financial struggle that I was going through.”

Through his challenges, DeVonte learned a lot and is eager to share his knowledge with others. He said, “You should not hesitate about returning to college, but you should know it comes with challenges. Everything in life comes with challenges. You will find, though, that going back to college is a rewarding experience. It betters your life and the people around you. I have set a good example for the little ones that look up to me and even the people in my neighborhood.”

Finally, as DeVonte prepares for his upcoming commencement, he explained who this new degree was really for. He said, “I would like to thank my family and friends for supporting me throughout my college career. This degree is dedicated to my Grandmother (Carol Douglass Smith), who lost her battle to cancer in August 2019.”

Congratulations to DeVonte on all his successes! Peirce College looks forward to supporting DeVonte as a new alumnus and cheering him on at the virtual commencement on June 23rd.