Student Selected for
Women's Leadership Program at Rutgers
-- When Pam Prather of Trenton made a speech during graduation ceremonies
from the Daylight-Twilight High School in June 2008, an audience
member praised her speech, suggesting that she should run for public
office. Prather, an adult student who began taking classes at the
James Kerney Campus (JKC) of Mercer County Community College that
same fall, may indeed get there one day.
been selected for NEW Leadership New Jersey, a six-day residential
program to be held at Rutgers University in June. Presented by the
Center for American Women and Politics of the Eagleton Institute
of Politics, it teaches college women the skills to become effective
leaders in politics, public policy and public service.
is excited about the opportunity to meet other students from around
the state and to learn from women leaders. "I am hoping to
develop my leadership skills to give back to my community and my
children," she said. She also hopes to learn the art of influencing
others politically in an effort to help women overcome social, emotional
and financial obstacles.
Jefferson, assistant dean at the James Kerney Campus, has watched Prather
blossom since she began her studies at Mercer. "Pam is highly motivated,
outgoing and always willing to help someone. She is respected by students
and staff alike," Jefferson said. Adds registrar Margarita Leahy,
who is Prather's work study supervisor in the Student Affairs Office,
"Pam's contributions as a leader on our campus include her ability
to listen and her desire to create a better environment for everyone."
Prather is pursuing her Liberal Arts degree at Mercer, majoring in psychology.
She is enthusiastic about her college experience thus far. "It's
been nothing but good for me. Having been out of school for a long time,
I didn't have much education and I didn't think I was capable. Professors
here go above and beyond. I feel like I have been taken under their wing."
Prather is giving back too. She is president of the JKC Student Activities
Board and has served as the JKC liaison with Mercer's West Windsor Campus.
She has taken on leadership roles in a variety of college events. She
also volunteers in the prison system as a Bible study teacher and notes
that her experience with prisoners has, in some ways, mirrored her own
life, "when someone took the time to see my potential and fostered
my development to achieve more."
With three children, Prather has a personal cheering section. When she
earned her high school diploma, she recalls her daughter crying. "And
when I earn my degree from Mercer, I'll be crying too," Prather says.
She expects to finish her associate degree next year and then continue
her studies to earn her bachelor's degree.
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