“Mary’s Center has given me so much.”

Mary’s Center Teen Program graduate Hermann lives his life with pep in his step and a smile on his face.

Originally from Cameroon, he has just finished his summer internship at Mary’s Center and started his sophomore year at Penn State University. He is studying there thanks to the Gates Millennium Scholarship, which covers tuition from undergrad through PhD.  

Hermann credits Walter Castillo and Marco Lopez, his mentors in the Teen Program (also known as the After School Program), for guiding him through his college search and pushing him to apply for the prestigious scholarship award.

“I am really grateful for the opportunity to realize my potential without the burden of student loans,” Hermann says.

In his first year at Penn State, Hermann took courses in Biology, Veterinarian Science, and Psychology, just to name a few. He learned interesting things in his classes, as well as important lessons about himself. Hermann found Psychology challenging and learned the value of talking to his professors when he is struggling with the rigorous material college can throw at a student.

He also remembered everything he had learned in the Teen Program: study skills, focus and the importance of the importance of character, attitude, and behavior. These lessons helped him make a good impression and important connections at Penn State.

Hermann promoting new Mary's Center site at Fort TottenDuring the summer, Hermann decided to intern and give back to Mary’s Center, which he says has given him so much. He spent part of his time in the Communications Department, doing outreach around the Fort Totten Metro to promote Mary’s Center’s new site in Northeast DC. He also help people download the Mary’s Center mobile app and encouraged them to sign up for the family literacy programs offered by our education partner, Briya Public Charter School. He was in his element interacting with members of the public.

His internship confirmed his decision to pursue a career that keeps him moving around and interacting and networking with people. With this in mind, he says he hopes to pursue a Bachelor’s in Biology or Medical Services Administration and then a Master’s in Public Health. He would also like to do a semester abroad in South America, to improve his Spanish or learn Portuguese.

With his love of learning and generosity of spirit, Hermann has inspired his friends and his community. He plans to continue encouraging other young people to work hard to realize their dream of getting a college education and to keep contributing to the organization that helped him to succeed. “ I have a special spot in my heart for Mary’s Center. I will absolutely keep up my relationship with Mary’s Center and I can see myself building a career here,” Hermann says with a smile.

Read more about our Teen Program.

Support our work with young people.

 - by Audrey Griffith, Mary's Center intern from Elon University in North Carolina.


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