Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Challenging and Motivating Each Other to the Finish Line – Meet Ashley and Thalia Rosario

This story was previously published on our website found here.

As first-generation college students, both Ashley and Thalia Rosario found themselves eager to go to college and earn a degree. Originally beginning their journey at the Community College of Philadelphia, they set their first goal to complete their associate degrees.

Ashley (left) and Thalia (right) Rosario with their daughter
“Ashley and I both come from families where college wasn’t really discussed. Neither of us had family members who had college degrees. Ashley was the first one to feel motivated to earn her degree and she inspired me to do the same,” said Thalia.

During their associate degree journey, both Ashley and Thalia decided they wanted to keep going and earn their bachelor’s degrees.

“Eventually, I want to go to law school, so I knew in order to get there I had to do what I needed to do, which meant earning my bachelor’s degree,” said Ashley.

They just didn’t know where they wanted to go.

Around the time the Rosarios started looking into schools for their next degrees, Thalia received an email from her employer about a partnership opportunity that provided a tuition discount. She said, “American Heritage, my employer, told me about the opportunity to go to Peirce College and the tuition discount. I looked into it and immediately applied.”

Ashley, on the other hand, looked around Philadelphia a bit longer weighing all her options. She said, “I was actually all set to go to a different college, but then Thalia and I had an exciting life event, which changed everything.”

Ashley was pregnant with her and Thalia’s first child and Ashley knew she needed to attend a school catered to working adults who had many responsibilities.

“Kieu Tran, Ashley and my Enrollment Specialist, was so helpful when I decided last minute to not attend my original school,” said Ashley. “Peirce allowed me to go to school online and since I was pregnant, I knew that was what I needed. At CCP, both Thalia and I were primarily online students, so this was a bonus for us to be able to continue with that flexibility now as we became parents.”

Thalia explained, “Kieu Tran was incredible during my application process. From the first time I reached out through starting classes, she did everything with me. So, when Ashley was pregnant and decided she may want to consider Peirce, too, I introduced her to Kieu."

Both Ashley and Thalia enrolled in Peirce College’s Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice program. Luckily, they both were able to transfer in all the credits from their associate degrees from CCP to help expedite their process in earning their bachelor’s.

“Kieu helped both Ashley and me transfer in all our credits from CCP,” said Thalia. “Everyone we met at Peirce was always so helpful. They were always willing to help us both knowing it was a two-for-one deal.”

After transferring in credits and getting started with classes, Thalia and Ashley buckled down and focused on the end goal.

While they were working toward the end goal of a bachelor’s degree, Erin Henrici, Thalia and Ashley’s Academic Advisor, encouraged Thalia to gain the extra credential of earning her Certificate of Proficiency in Customer Service. “Some of the electives I was choosing fit right into this certificate, so Erin encouraged me to finish out the courses, so I’d graduate with a degree and a certificate,” said Thalia.

During their experience at Peirce College, they gained more than what they were originally looking for. “I gained not only academic knowledge, but I learned how to prioritize and focus, which was helpful beyond the classroom. We discussed real world topics in class, which has helped me in many ways and provided me a way to use my voice,” said Ashley.

Ashley practiced using her voice during some discussions where her and Thalia would have different opinions and outlooks on topics and they’d have the opportunity to challenge one another and ignite powerful conversations. Ashley said, “One of the things I will miss the most about going to school together is having Thalia challenge everything I say in a way that expands our relationship with one another.”

“I loved going to school with Ashley. I recommend it for everyone! If you have someone to go to school with, do it. It was like having a classroom at home where we would talk through discussions, assignments, etc. Nine times out of ten we would have different opinions and responses, so it was great to have the opportunity to talk these thoughts through and work together,” said Thalia.

In June 2020, the Rosarios proudly graduated and completed their next college goal. They both continue to have big dreams and have no plans of stopping.

“I am currently enrolled at Rutgers University for my Master of Science in Public Administration. My plan is to continue on to law school in the future,” said Ashley.

“I currently work in the Quality Control Department for American Heritage and I am eager to apply my new degree into my career,” said Thalia.

As a final note about their experience, they both shared some wisdom for other adults considering furthering their education. “Peirce College has an answer for every ‘excuse’ in the book an adult can try to convince themselves of when holding off on returning to school. There is no reason not to do it,” said Thalia.

“After giving birth to our daughter, I left the hospital on Saturday and started classes on Monday. When you want better, you have to do better and I knew earning a degree would help me achieve my goals, so I made the moves to do it. If you’re considering going back to school, go for it,” said Ashley.

Congratulations to both Ashley and Thalia on their amazing accomplishments!