LEAP Academy Class of 2011
Felisha Robinson is prescribing her success to LEAP Academy and the relationships she formed there. She has developed a positive academic and career trajectory due to the support from teachers, administrators, and friends since Kindergarten. Growing up in Camden, Felisha never equated the challenges of urban education being a hindrance for her. “I came to school and I receive an education,” she comments. “I know that being at LEAP, however, made a difference in my desire to attend college.”
College Access sets LEAP apart from other Camden schools with its 100% college placement rate. Felisha left LEAP for a public middle school for 2 years, but returned and recognized the value of the LEAP college attainment experience. “I noticed there was a difference in the education I received and that environment,” she explains. “As I got into my junior and senior years of high school, and I had friends at different high schools in and out of the city, I realized that I had an advantage. I would tell my friends about the help I was receiving from the College Access office and they couldn’t believe it. I know that at LEAP, since my sophomore year, there was never a doubt about applying to college.”
Now, one semester away from graduating, Felisha has already applied to graduate school for a Master’s in Pharmacy Related Studies. Her goal is to become a research scientist and to participate in medical research. She’s even thinking of applying to some PhD programs afterwards and then either work and teach for a university or full time in the pharmaceutical industry discovering new drugs.
Felisha remains grateful for the opportunities she had at LEAP and now at Rutgers-Camden, particularly with the financial support of the Alfredo Santiago Scholarship, which has paid for part of her tuition. She expresses, “Looking back, I know receiving scholarship was a blessing. I couldn’t imagine the loans I would have without it. I’ve met fellow students in college who hear how much money I get in scholarship from my high school and they are amazed. Because of the scholarship, I haven’t had to work my way through college.” Instead of worrying about her financial circumstances to advance through college, she can focus on her academic and career pursuits, which are ambitious and promising.
If Felisha could speak directly to her supporters, she would say, “Thank you for believing in the students of LEAP and the school’s vision. It’s a vision that some of you are just seeing come to pass and some of you may never see. What you’re doing matters. The only thing that stands between us and our success is opportunity and because of your giving, we have that opportunity.” Felisha can confidently be ready for her next big opportunity of discovering new life-saving drugs that will benefit society.