A Desire to Succeed and a Fire to Win, Meet Adrienne Holiday-Singletary

A Desire to Succeed and a Fire to Win, Meet Adrienne Holiday-Singletary

Traveling back in time to 1988, Adrienne Holiday-Singletary was graduating high school. College had been an idea, but only that, an idea. Due to the financial hardship college imposed, Adrienne decided to enter the workforce instead.

College was always in the back of her mind, though, and she ended up applying and getting in with hopes of starting the following January. Unfortunately, her grandparents, who had raised her and were her primary caretakers, were unable to help financially support her. At the time, Adrienne didn’t have the knowledge to figure it out on her own, so back to the workforce Adrienne went.

Fast forward to 2001 when there was more of a push in the world to go back to school, Adrienne decided to try it again. After getting married and having two daughters, Adrienne felt inspired to do this. Adrienne said, “I was offered the opportunity to go to community college for free for one semester, and that is when I fell in love with being a student. Unfortunately, despite my passion for learning, I just didn’t have the resources to do it with my full-time job and as a mother of two young children.”

Fast forward again approximately 18 years and Adrienne’s daughters are grown, they are both college graduates, and Adrienne landed a great job at SEPTA. Adrienne quickly discovered their tuition reimbursement program and heard about the partnership with Peirce College. “I was really worried at first to look back into college for the third time, especially at my age, but Peirce was suggested to me as a college for working adults and I learned they offered a tuition discount to SEPTA employees, so I reached out to LaKeesha Johnson,” said Adrienne.

LaKeesha is one of Peirce College’s Enrollment Specialists and she helped get Adrienne in the door and on her path to earning her degree right away. “LaKeesha was amazing and held my feet to the fire. She kept pushing me to finish each step, especially the initial placement exam, and it turns out I passed and moved right into college-level courses,” explained Adrienne.

Jumping right into her first business course, Adrienne rediscovered her passion for learning and registered for all her classes for the upcoming year. She made Dean’s List and has held an impressive 3.6 GPA.

Adrienne said her biggest inspiration for going back to school is two-fold. One side is, “I found myself at a crossroad in my career. I was fortunate enough to be in a profession where they didn’t ask for me to have a degree initially, but I soon discovered if I wanted to move up, I needed one. I had years of experience, but I didn’t feel qualified for any managerial positions.” Additionally, Adrienne added, “Another reason for me going back to school was I paid for my daughters’ educations, but my name wasn’t on those degrees. So I decided it was time for me to pay for an education where my name was the one read at graduation.”

Adrienne is currently finishing her Associate in Arts in General Studies with immediate plans to move into her Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies with a concentration in human resources. Adrienne said, “So far during my associate degree program I have gained this fire in me to constantly figure out what I can do better and what I can do next. I was never a competitive person and was always realistic that not everyone can be in first. But, thanks to this passion I developed during my program, I don’t settle anymore. If someone is going to win, why can’t it be me?”

This drive to do more is exactly what inspired Adrienne to apply for the 2021 Paradigm Scholarship for Working Women presented by the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia. She knew this opportunity would help her financially throughout her continuous educational journey. To Adrienne’s astonishment, she was proudly named one of the 2021 Paradigm Scholarship Recipients. She said, “Winning this award was validation for me. It means I made the right decision coming back to school. The things I have sacrificed were not done in vain.”

Congratulations to Adrienne on all of her accomplishments and successes!

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