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"I am forever grateful that I found my place at Gwynedd Mercy University and I do not see myself going anywhere but up from here."
I thought going away to school was the key to my success: finding myself, new friends, and creating a new lifestyle. I originally went to a school about an hour and a half away from my home for my freshmen year of college but by my spring semester, I was miserable. I did not feel connected to the school nor the program and I knew that I had to come home in order to restart.
When I heard about Gwynedd Mercy University, I decided to dig deeper into the program and what the University had to offer. I was amazed with the opportunities provided, along with the flexible scheduling and extracurricular activities available for education majors. Plus, there was an option for Special Education certification: bonus! When I toured GMercyU, I felt comfortable and confident, which was a feeling I had not had for a while. The school is beautiful, the campus is clean, and the student-to-faculty ratio is something that stood out to me. When I was accepted, I was nothing but ecstatic to start my sophomore year on the right path.
The School of Education is such a welcoming place to be. I have connected with many different professors and students that are in my classes and have gained insight into different experiences others have faced. The challenges that are presented in the education world today are nothing what I had imagined and the School of Education really opened my eyes to prevalent issues around us. The School of Education is a close-knit environment, which makes me feel like I am a part of something important. Going to different schools for TAP has lead me to numerous connections that benefit me in my personal and professional life and I could not be more thankful.
Connecting with professors and other faculty members at GMercyU has to be one of the most special features about the University. They are all inspiring, supportive and dedicated to their career and helping each and every student be successful. Over the past two years, I have connected with Dr. Monica Walsh, who has done nothing but inspire and support me since the first day I attended GMercyU. Dr. Walsh is a strong woman who will drop everything in a matter of seconds to help a student in need. She is the type of professor you want to have throughout your years of schooling. I do not think I would be as confident or successful if Dr. Walsh was not a professor at GMercyU. She has worked hard to help me become the woman and student I am. With her dedication to her classes, and advising the club Gwynedd Mercy’s Association for the Education of Young Children, I am in awe of her every decision and movement around campus. She is so wonderful, and I can thank her for a lot of opportunities that are happening in my life right now.
As a new student, I decided I wanted to get involved on campus, which is something that I did not do at my previous school. I researched the opportunities that GMercyU provided and I decided that I would attend Gwynedd Mercy’s Association for the Education of Young Children’s meetings because their missions aligned with my interests. Within one semester of attending meetings, I was offered a position to become co-president of the club. I accepted immediately, excited to help the club grow and reach opportunities that were overlooked in previous years.
My first semester as co-president I was learning the ropes and evaluating what we could do better as an organization. By fall of 2017, I was trying to expand our connections in order to help those locally. That’s when I researched organizations close to campus that GMAEYC could help with. I found a local non-profit organization called The Giving Tree, which is ran by two women in the Gwynedd Valley community. Their mission is to provide children with opportunities of charity and service learning. Their mission connected with GMAYEC’s mission, along with the University’s mission. I connected with Bridget, the founder and director of The Giving Tree, and we instantly knew that we were meant to work together.
The Giving Tree had a recent service event called Working Hands, where there were 13 assembly stations set up at a local school’s cafeteria. Children of all ages from the community joined together to create projects of service for those in need in the community. GMAEYC was able to attend to help set up, supervise, and break down the event for eight hours on a Saturday.
In total, the community created:
Everyone worked together, showing compassion and generosity for those in need while speakers from various organizations informed the children about why it is important to give back to those within the community. It was an experience that I will never forget and one that I am excited to continue through GMAEYC.
I am not a cliché person, but Gwynedd Mercy University does feel like home. It is a warm, welcoming community that has numerous opportunities for anyone. To step out of the education world, there are plenty of majors, minors, and certifications that GMercyU has to offer that would fit anyone’s interests. The involvement on campus is amazing to see, along with the encouragement from all students and faculty. I have never found myself in a situation where I felt uncomfortable on campus, intentionally uninvolved, or unwelcomed.
As a student who also works full time, there is compassion when it comes to understanding schedules and a majority, if not all, professors are willing to work with each and every person individually in order to help them achieve their full potential without being run-down. I have not had one bad day at this University and I certainly do not see any in the future. I am forever grateful that I found my place at Gwynedd Mercy University and I do not see myself going anywhere but up from here.