Published on Havertown Patch
July 29, 2013
Penn Foster, a leader in career-focused online and hybrid education designed to address the skills gap in America, today announced De Janiera Thomas, a Penn Foster graduate, who received her associate’s degree in early childhood education is the winner of its 2013 Graduation Party Contest. As part of the Graduation Party Contest, current students and alumni were asked to share what their Penn Foster experience has meant to them, why graduating is an important milestone in their life and what they plan on doing with their Penn Foster education. Thomas won with 59 percent of the votes from the Penn Foster Community for her essay describing her personal battle with poverty and her pursuit of academic success despite the many challenges she has faced. In her essay, Thomas reflects upon how having to care for her siblings at a young age because of absent parents led her to discover a passion for childhood education.
“De Janiera embodies the work ethic and perseverance of Penn Foster’s students,” said Joe Gagnon, President and COO of Penn Foster. “It is important that we recognize our students for their success and diligence as they juggle multiple responsibilities while simultaneously pursuing their dream of higher education. We have no doubt she’ll achieve great things in the future.”
Thomas’ grand prize – a graduation party worth $1,500 and paid for by Penn Foster – will be on Saturday, July 27 at the Brookline Fire Hall in Haverton, Pennsylvania. Gagnon will be on hand to present her with her diploma in front of 60 guests, including Penn Foster faculty and Thomas’s friends and family.
“Penn Foster has opened doors for me that I never imagined could be opened,” said Thomas. “My next step will be to earn my bachelor’s degree in childcare and special education, and I look forward to inspiring the same love of learning in my students that Penn Foster inspired in me.”