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Sharing Pitt Memories

Pitt Education Changes Your Life


Jeffrey Parker (SOC WK ’98):

I had never excelled in academics. In fact, prior to going to college, I only had a GED after dropping out of school. I transferred to Pitt from CCAC-Allegheny when I was 32 years old. I remember being terrified and wondering if I could actually earn my bachelors’ degree without making a fool out of myself, or having to drop out because I couldn’t do what was required to succeed. The Cathedral of Learning became my favorite building in the world, as it made me feel like my IQ went up a notch or two the moment I entered (though I wasn’t as confident when I entered the elevators).

I went from being intimidated about Pitt’s School of Social Work and its rank as 5th in the country to being proud of being part of such a well-respected and established program thanks to Dean David Epperson and [Associate Professor of Social Work and Associate Dean of Student Affairs] Grady Roberts. I became dedicated to my studies and excelled as a student. I went from a person on a fixed income to earning my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work. Today, I am married and a homeowner. I work with patients with addiction and mental health problems. I attend outings at Pitt and am part of the networking event every year for current students in the School of Social Work. My education at Pitt changed my life forever, and for that I will always be a supporter of the University of Pittsburgh.