LINCOLN UNIVERSITY, Pa. – Jabreeah Harris recalls being filled with joy after hearing that she had been accepted to Lincoln University for fall 2013. Her mother, Yolanda Grange, remembers the ecstatic look on her daughters face as they celebrated the news at their home in Wilmington, Delaware.
“I knew from the very beginning of the college application process that I wanted to attend Lincoln University,” Harris said.
For Harris, it was the tight-knit sense of community and the small student-faculty ratio that attracted her to Lincoln. Harris credits having open access to her professors and mentors as one of the major factors that led to her success at Lincoln.
“The one-on-one attention you receive from the faculty here is something you may not get at larger institutions,” said Harris.
After countless exams, all-night study sessions, and clinicals at nearby hospitals such as the Nemours Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children and the Coatesville Veterans Affairs Medical Center, the nursing major joined her fellow Class of 2018 classmates at Lincoln’s commencement ceremony on May 6.
But unlike her classmates, Harris graduated alongside her mother, Yolanda Grange.
A Non-Traditional Path
Grange did not follow the traditional four-year path to graduation. After high school, Grange received her associates degree in business from Goldey-Beacom College in Wilmington, Delaware, and took a job in finance working at Wilmington Trust.
After working a few years in the finance sector, her department at the wealth management fiduciary was laid off. Fortunately, Grange had already found a new home at Lincoln as a program assistant in the Office of Student Life and Development.
“Working at Lincoln has been a blessing,” Grange said. “I love helping students navigate their way through the Lincoln community.”
When Grange decided it was time to go back to school to obtain her bachelor’s degree, her decision to study at Lincoln was a no-brainer.
“Like my daughter, I wanted open access to my professors,” Grange said, “I knew I would receive the support I needed from the faculty at Lincoln.
Grange continued working full-time as a program assistant while working towards her degree at University City in Philadelphia where she studied business and entrepreneurship. For 14 months she braved weekend traffic on I-95 to attend her classes that ran from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. every Saturday.
Despite the challenges of going back to school while working full-time and raising a family, Grange was determined to complete her journey.
“I knew it would be hard,” Grange said, “but I wanted to set a standard because I knew my family was watching me.” Grange credits her husband Alden Grange, her son Josiah, and her daughter Jabreeah Harris for serving as her support system.
“I’m so proud of her,” Harris said, “It’s a privilege to graduate with her because despite everything she had on her plate; she still took care of us.”
A New Journey
With a freshly minted nursing degree in hand, Harris will begin her nursing career at the renowned Christiana Care Hospital in Newark, Delaware as an operating room nurse.
“I’m very excited and ready to get to work,” Harris said, “helping people has always been a passion of mine.”
As for Grange, she plans to complement her business and entrepreneurial studies degree by applying to Lincoln’s MBA program.
“It is my hope that with my education, I can be more of an asset to Lincoln,” said Grange. “I love the faculty and staff here; it feels like family.”
Article and photos by Devin Bonner, Office of Communications and Public Relations