FIVE YEARS AGO, WHEN RAGHAD ALISALEH MOVED TO PENNSYLVANIA, she never dreamed she would be awarded the Lehigh and Northampton Chapter of PennAEYC’s Early Childhood Educator Award, let alone complete her Associate’s degree at no cost. She had been juggling two jobs and was still “broke,” yet was certain she wanted to advance her education in early childhood. A good dose
of desire, coupled with an online search for scholarships, revealed the PDO’s no‐cost educational opportunity for qualifying candidates. “It seemed too good to be true, but since I met all the requirements to qualify for sponsorship, I jumped in!” Raghad exclaims.
A three‐year employee at Hannig Family Children’s Center at Northampton Community College (where she recently earned her Associate’s degree), Raghad admits that while it was not always easy, it was well worth it. “It was hard at times, but I took it day by day. I organized my time and made sure I still took time for myself to avoid burnout,” she adds. Raghad also credits her success to her college instructors and center director, Faye Freer, who supported her academic journey.
Raghad will attend East Stroudsburg University in the fall, where she plans to complete her Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. She is excited to return to in‐person classes.
“Once you reach your goal, you will be so proud of yourself,” she advises other current PDO students. Raghad Alisaleh is proof that obstacles really can be transformed into opportunity through the [email protected]