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Jeremiah Laster

In 2010, I was searching for an opportunity to complete a bachelor degree program. Graduate! Philadelphia advertised such an opportunity with East Stroudsburg University. They offered a degree in Public Health / Health Services Administration. The program was accommodating to full-time working adults with classes two nights a week and all day on Saturdays. After meeting with representatives from the admissions office, I was accepted into the program.

The first cohort for this program started in January 2011. My journey started and my commitment was made. I was all in with the targeted graduate date goal was set for December 2012.

The first cohort for the program was a determined group from various backgrounds ranging from adults with careers to young adults who sought to complete their higher education goals. I was a full time chief officer in the Philadelphia Fire Department seeking to further my career. Years prior, I had taken numerous courses at Community College of Philadelphia and completed an associate’s degree from Camden County Community College in Emergency Medical Services Management / Paramedic Science.

I thoroughly enjoyed every class and the wonderful professors who taught us. It was an experience I will never forget as all of my classmates worked hard and were focused. We worked together as a team (Together Everyone Achieving More). There were challenges and deadlines to meet. Among them were required classes for graduation like art and physical education (fitness class) etc. East Stroudsburg University assisted us in every way possible, and we each had to go the extra mile make our dreams come true. For me, this included taking addition courses at Community College to meet all graduation requirements.

As December 2012 closed in, I realized that the end was near and the goal of graduation would be met. It was great accomplishing the much desired goal of graduation. I graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in Public Health / Health Services Administration. I went on to rank number one on my next promotional examination, Fire Paramedic Deputy Chief and had the pleasure of serving over two years as Deputy Fire Commissioner, Emergency Medical Services. In addition, I am looking forward to completing a master’s degree program in the near future.

Graduate! Philadelphia is a great program and will have continued success with committed participants. I would encourage anyone who seeks to fulfill their dream and desire in completing a degree program to do so. Take the first step, stay focused and committed. You can achieve this as I did.