Tamia Lawerance, an incoming freshman at Neumann University, is a so excited to start college that she is moving in a week before classes start.
A graduate of Monsignor Bonner & Archbishop Prendergast Catholic High School, Lawerance will trade in her last week of summer and move onto campus on Aug. 18 to take part in the Neumann’s First Year Retreat, a series of team-building activities and an introduction to Neumann’s core values: reverence, integrity, service, excellence, and stewardship.
Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Lawerance is a first-generation college student. She came to the United States with her mother and older brother and sister when she was two years old.
“My mom wanted better opportunities for her kids,” Lawerance said. “She wanted us to get a better education and better jobs than in Jamaica.”
Now a citizen, Lawerance and her family settled in West Philadelphia because her grandmother had lived there for more than 16 years prior to their move. When Lawerance started school, she struggled academically and was held back in the first grade. She credits her mom for instilling the determination she needed to get into college.
“Thank God for the type of mom I have,” Lawerance said. “She is very hard working … and happy that I’m sticking to my goal.”
Lawerance was drawn to Neumann’s small environment. She is looking forward to connecting with people.
“It’s a nice and peaceful campus with some spirit,” said the practicing Pentecostal. “I’m looking forward to getting involved with campus ministry after the retreat.”
Neumann’s close proximity to her high school in Drexel Hill is also a reason why she chose to enroll.
“I already know a lot of people from high school that go to Neumann,” she said. “It helps with the transition, plus there’s a Chick-fil-A down the street!”
Lawerance hopes to become a Nursing major and would like to work as a neonatal nurse after graduation.