Featured Learner - Doreen Ziccardi
Reaching for the stars
It is no surprise to anyone who knows Doreen Ziccardi that her academic achievements are based on determination, desire and commitment.
"Doreen truly is an amazing individual," says Ed Miller, Professor and Program Manager for Peirce Paralegal Studies. "She is a glowing example of what is so special about the student body at Peirce College."
Through her strong professional work ethic, Doreen was able to build a career in the legal and business arenas, but like many Peirce students, she found she was missing a very important piece of the equation by not having a bachelor's degree. "I have been in the legal profession for over 20 years," Doreen says, "but I knew that if I wanted to be able to help those less fortunate than I, then I would need the proper tools and education to succeed. That is when I decided to pursue a bachelor's in Paralegal Studies with Peirce College in order to reach my personal goal."
As a faculty member who has seen Doreen progress through each stage of the Paralegal Studies program, Professor Miller adds, "I see Doreen's formula for success based on the principle that every circumstance and challenge is an opportunity to grow stronger. Not only has Doreen been able to master the balance of work, family life and academic pursuit, she also has found a way to incorporate professional outreach and networking into her master plan to make her journey even more rewarding."
Doreen's academic record is outstanding. She has consistently been on the Dean's List and President's List since the beginning of her academic pursuits in 2004, and has an extensive list of awards, honors and professional certifications, including Recertification Award (CLE Award), Paralegal Scholarship Award and two W.W. Smith Scholarship Awards. She is the President of the Peirce Paralegal Student Association and a member of the Chi Alpha Epsilon National Honor Society.
Doreen, who is employed full-time at a financial services organization, is also continuing a family tradition: her husband and father-in-law are Peirce graduates. "Little did I know my experience at Peirce would be such a positive and rewarding time in my adult life," she says. "I have three beautiful daughters and a husband who has supported me these past years, and I spend time with the most wonderful and dedicated group of students and professors at Peirce. They have been my salvation and inspiration whenever I was feeling overwhelmed or felt I could do no more. My advisor, Dr. Beverly Elliott, is always there."
When she walks across the Kimmel Center's stage in June to receive her bachelor's degree, she says she will be taking "wonderful memories with me, as well as an education that will take me to places I could not even have imagined I would be going four years ago."
Doreen has some advice she gives to her daughters on a daily basis: Reach for the stars and never doubt your abilities.