Adelphi University Commencement 2011

Meet the graduates

Ptahra Jeppe '12
Ptahra Jeppe '12

What is your hometown:
Brooklyn, New York


B. A. in Sociology


Why did you choose to attend Adelphi?
I was diagnosed with sever dyslexia in the third grade and was a special education student until I graduated the 12th grade. However, I have always loved to learn and have had the desire to be a lawyer ever since I could remember. So, I did not let the fact that the idea of someone as dyslexic as I am entering a mainstream university like Adelphi—which, to most, is unheard of—stop me from going to college and pursuing my dreams. When I started college I wanted to prove to myself and others that I could be a successful, mainstream student, so I chose to attend Adelphi University which has one of the best learning disability programs in the country. My participation in the learning disability program at Adelphi University, as well as my hard work and dedication to academic excellence, has led to my triumphs and success while in college. My journey to achieving these has taught me a lot about myself. I have learned to never let people tell you what you are capable of. I have also learned what my limitations are, as well as my strengths and weaknesses. Although I had to work three times harder than my peers to accomplish certain tasks, it has turned out to be worth it in the end, because my accomplishments reflect my commitment to being the best I can be.

When and how did your interest in your major develop?
I started out as a political science major because I thought that it was the best major for someone applying for law school. However, in my sophomore year I took an introduction to sociology course that made me fall in love with the field. I began to think that to be a lawyer you need to understand the society you live and work in to be successful. I also I realized my passion lies not just in the idea of influencing the judicial process, but also in how I can help individuals and ultimately better humanity and the world as a whole. I felt like the field of sociology could give me the tools and help me to achieve this.

Did you complete any noteworthy internships or study abroad programs?
I was the only Adelphi student chosen to participate in the rigorous and competitive Cornell University summer 2011 Pre-Law Program. During the same summer I also Studied Abroad in Ghana, West Africa in Augustwith theUniversity of Massachusetts-Amherst. While there, I studied performance arts, cultural Anthropology, and language. The summer of my sophomore year I Interned with Attorney Stephen Z. Williamson in his Campaign for Brooklyn's 52nd Assembly District Leader. In the summer of my junior year I interned for the Brooklyn Legal Aid Society Juvenile Defense Office.

Describe your experiences at Adelphi with the faculty and/or your classmates?
The Adelphi University Sociology Department faculty are always welcoming, and willing to help the students in any way necessary. The small class size allows for the students and faculty to get to know each other and creates an environment where students feel comfortable to fully express themselves, learn, ask questions, and grow.

What accomplishment are you most proud of during your college career:
As an undergraduate student at Adelphi University, I have participated in, and accomplished, a great deal. I have made the Dean's List every semester and was awarded the Academic Success Scholarship. I am a Member of two Honor Societies. I have maintained a high grade point average. I interned for lawyers and local officials. I have been the only Adelphi University student chosen to participate in the Cornell Pre-Law Program. I have studied abroad in Ghana, and started my own business, Educational Enlightenment, which focuses on learning-disability awareness and advocacy. While I am very proud of all of these things, I believe that my biggest accomplishment is accomplishing all of the things listed above as an African American female from the inner-city with a learning disability.

Plans after graduation:
I plan on taking a year off, between undergraduate and law school so that I can work, study, take the LSAT, and apply to law school.

What is your aspirations/dream job?
I aspire to attend law school and become a criminal defense attorney and/or a child advocacy attorney. I also hope to grow my business, Educational Enlightenment, so that it educates and advocates for poor African Americans and dyslexics all around the country.

What types of extracurricular activities are you involved with?

I have started my own business, Educational Enlightenment, which focuses on learning-disability awareness and advocacy. Through this, in my spare time, I volunteer to give presentations and workshops that consult and bring about awareness to teachers, students, parents, and other professionals.

How do you handle such a full schedule with a rigorous academic curriculum?
It is stressful to have a full schedule with a rigorous academic curriculum especially with a learning disability (it takes me three times longer than most students to complete a reading assignment). I constantly remind myself to put one foot in front of the other and never stop working. I also have an extraordinary capacity for organization and time management that helps me handle such a full schedule with a rigorous academic curriculum.

Do you have any hobbies?
My hobbies are dancing and acting.

What awards/honors have you received?
I have been on the Dean's List since my first semester at Adelphi and I was awarded the Adelphi Academic Success Scholarship. I am a member of Alpha Kappa Delta, the International Sociology Honor Society. I also am a member of Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Honor Society.

This page was last modified on July 25, 2012.
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