Category Archives: My Life at PIT

Kebba Kanuteh Speech – 2017 Salutatorian

I am severely dyslexic and the school asked me to read my speech!  Let’s keep our fingers crossed! 

Good morning Mr. and Mrs. Garrison, honored guests, the Board of Trustees, faculty, staff, family, friends, and fellow graduates.

I am so honored to be receiving this award. In a million years, I never thought I’d be graduating from college. My whole life I have struggled with dyslexia. When I was 10, I was doing poorly in school, so my parents sent me to Gambia in West Africa to live with my grandparents. While I was there, I attended school, but when they found out that I couldn’t read, I was kicked out of school.

I came back to New York at age 15, and I still couldn’t read or write. This frustrated my parents and it made me unhappy to disappoint them.

My frustration grew into depression, and I grew with it to 315 pounds. I was an overweight, illiterate, high school dropout, so I moved to Philadelphia. In 2004, I got a job at the Navy Yard as a janitor. To lose weight, I exercised during my lunch breaks. I ran up and down flights of stairs, from the first floor to the ninth.

Pretty soon a lot of the engineers started joining me in my work-outs. I lost one hundred pounds, and I gained a community of friends. It became my dream to work alongside them, not as a janitor, but as a colleague.

Some people told me that, given my level of education, my dream would be impossible. But the Navy supported me and wanted to help me reach my goal. They provided special dyslexia tutors who taught me to read, write, and solve math problems. After receiving my high school diploma, they sent me here to P.I.T., where I found another community of amazing friends and teachers.

I have learned the importance of a positive attitude, hard work, and connecting with others. My experience has shown me that when you have a positive attitude and let your needs be known, people are willing to help you in every way. It is the magic of love that when you share it, it comes back to you tenfold. That has been the story of my life.

I would like to thank my amazing friends, family, and tutors for encouraging me over the years. I would also like to thank Suzanne Felix for guiding me when I first came to Philly. And also a special thank you to Pat Woody, Glenn Ward, and Joanne Simons at the Navy Yard for hiring me and helping me make my dream come true. Thank you to Diane Seider and Mary Ann Bucklin who were incredibly dedicated and patient tutors.  I also want to thank Tom Perotti for supporting my education at Arizona State University where I will pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering. My friends at the Navy Yard have been an inspiration to me and my dream is to be an inspiration to others.

Finally I would like to thank my dedicated P.I.T. teachers and staff for encouraging me for the past 2½ years. Without all of you, none of this would have been possible. Thank you.

Congratulations to all my fellow graduates!

…And guess what Mom? I can read now.  Happy Mother’s Day and I love you!

Kelly Kenworthy Speech – 2017 Valedictorian

Hello and good morning!

I want to thank everyone for being here today: Mr. and Mrs. Garrison, family, friends, faculty, Board of Trustees, staff and fellow classmates for coming out to celebrate Pennsylvania Institute of Technology’s graduating of the class of 2017…Or should I say one of the most memorable day of our lives.

I just want to say what an honor it is to be standing in front of you today as your valedictorian, I would like to thank PIT for giving me this opportunity.

And I want to thank everyone who has supported me in this journey. I especially want to thank my mom and dad. They have always been my constant support system and my guiding hands. Without them, I would not be the person I have grown up to be. They have taught me to be the best person I can be and never stop believing in myself. And for that I thank them- Love you mom and dad and thank you.

When I was told I was going to be valedictorian, the first thing that came to my mind: what the heck am I going to talk about? So like most people I went on to Google and searched for top valedictorian speeches and I found myself listening to others stories and experiences, then I realized, I should be sharing my experience at P.I.T.

Once upon a time, believe it or not, I was NOT the person who studied every night. I always procrastinated with papers and homework, and I’m not going to lie I still did it at P.I.T. but I realized that I was managing my time and I made it work for me.  Now look I am standing in front of you today after endless amounts of studying and homework one-step closer to my Goals as your valedictorian.  There is no one right way to do something—you have to find the right way for you to succeed!

I am sure almost everyone in this room knows how hard it is to work towards your goals.  But as most of you know, once you reach those goals and accomplishments it makes all that hard work and struggles worth it.  And Sitting in front of me, I see my fellow graduates who have continued to work hard to reach those goals every day while attending classes at P.I.T.

My grandmother is the reason why I wanted to go into the medical field.  During the last few years of her life, she stayed with my parents and I, and there would be a few occasions when I would be home assisting her and helping her through the day.  Those days made me realize I wanted to go into the health care field because I have a passion for helping people.

As you can tell P.I.T. has a lot of history within these walls and some of you may not know this but P.I.T. used to be an all-girl school called Notre Dame.  My grandmother was in the Notre Dame graduating class of 1952, and I think that’s why I gravitated towards Pennsylvania Institute of Technology.  It’s part of who I am now and who my grandmother was—you could say this building is in my genes.

I started school at P.I.T. about a year and a half ago and it has been an amazing experience.  From countless hours studying in the innovation center to chatting in the café with my classmates, P.I.T. changed everything for me. I have found a career that I love as a medical assistant, made friends I will have for a lifetime, and met teachers who have not only been helpful but also inspirational.

Today we are not saying goodbye to Pennsylvania Institute of Technology, instead, we are moving forward to the next phases of our lives, but what we learned here and the friendships we made will stay with us for a lifetime.

I want to leave you this Quote by Walt Disney; he said it best when he said “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

And that is exactly what we are doing today, we are moving down new paths. Each one of you have worked hard these past few years striving towards your goals and we should all be extremely proud of ourselves!

Congratulations!  We did it!!!!

My Life at PIT by Abimbola

Abimbola OlatonaWritten by: Abimbola Olatona (

I choose Pennsylvania Institute of Technology [P.I.T.] because I became inspired by a friend who graduated from the Practical Nursing program at P.I.T., and through the encouragement of love ones that believed in me. Feeling that I have the potential to become great in life gave me the courage to register in P.I.T.’s Allied Health Practical Nursing program. My goal is to become a practical nurse. I knew furthering my education as a full-time worker and a mother of three little children was going to be very challenging. It was a long night for me before the morning of my first day at school. I couldn’t sleep most of the night; however, I was excited in looking forward to achieve what the day had in store for me. I had to start the day by getting the children ready for school and dropping them off at their schools before coming back home to prepare myself for my school day. My first day at P.I.T. as a student was a happy moment in my life. I felt fulfilled and encouraged with the warmness of the class atmosphere. My first class was English 110, and the teacher was very warm and welcoming with an assuring look on her face that she will be there to help us achieve our goals. We were asked to introduce ourselves to one another after our teacher formally introduced herself to the class. Before the class ended that day we all are comfortable and felt very familiar with one another. Some students exchanged contacts and bonded relationships. Despite all of the stress and challenges in combining work, family and academics, I still try as much as possible to spend time with my family. I leave school around 1.00 pm every school day to pick up my children and then come home to do chores. I get back home by 3.30pm to cook dinner. After that, I study and complete my school work. Sometimes I finish late at night just to make sure everything is set for the following day. I will be focusing my energy into studying and being successful for my future and be happy to face these challenges because I believe it is for a better future.

A Day in the Life of PIT by Rugiatu Kamara

Rugiatu KamaraWritten By; Rugiatu Kamara

First semester of college can be an exciting, and also a confusing time. I was nervous before school started because everyone told me that classes are extremely hard and very competitive. January 20, 2015, was my first day at P.I.T. As I was going through my first semester, I realized that there was a big difference between my studies at P.I.T. and those at Delaware County Community College (DCCC). At P.I.T., not only did I get to study in small classrooms with few students, but I was able to study with students that were very determined and interesting. Furthermore, the environment of the school is very nice and quiet. The other difference I noticed is the parking lot. It is not crowded like the one at DCCC. P.I.T.’s parking lot and the classrooms are very close; students don’t need to walk a long distance. The smell and fresh air coming from the trees, makes me fall in love with the college every day. Moreover, all the teachers at P.I.T. are very friendly and encouraging. They are always ready to answer any question you ask them. Tutors are always available to help students with their school work. Computer rooms are opened to all students; it is not crowed or noisy. In conclusion, my experience in my first semester at P.I.T. is enjoyable. I will definitely recommend it to any of my friends or family members that are ready to pursue their education in other to get a degree and have a better life.

The End is Near!

after PITThe end of the semester, of course! For those who are all ready to graduate and start the rest of your life with a new career, congratulations! For those who still have a couple years, try not to stress about it and keep up the good work.

By the time the new semester starts, you’ll feel as if you’ve been at P.I.T for decades. But if you think about it, these semesters actually go by pretty fast. I can remember when I first started here in August – or September, I can’t really remember – but I thought that it would take forever to finish out my first year. Luckily it flew by! Though I may not be starting another year at P.I.T, I am most certainly grateful for the time I spent here and all the things I learned in classes and about myself.

Just remember to never quit! It may seem like it’s taking a long time to achieve your goals, but once you concentrate on what you really want out of life and your education, there is no time in the world that could stop you and hold you back!

Resume writing

I am certainly not the person you go to if you need help writing your resume because chances are I’ll tell you the wrong thing. Luckily, there is hope for all of us.

Today for my Business Communications class I have a mock interview – not too happy about it either -and we were told to have a cover letter, resume, and thank you letter. Now, I dreaded this because I had no idea how to write any of those things. I put it off and put it off until last night while I was watching “Sleeping Beauty,” it dawned on me that I still had to get that done. So I hopped onto Google and searched for examples of resumes and cover letters. Still, I was confused and probably too focused on the classic Disney movie, but I carried on with my search.resume panic

Finally, I came across a website called All you have to do is choose what type of template you want, fill out the questions and voila, you got yourself a resume! It even gives you starting sentences and phrases to get your mind on a roll thinking about what else you could include about yourself. You can also do your cover letters and thank you letters on this website as well.

Thankfully, I am a dedicated advocate of the Google search, otherwise I would be a sitting duck right about now, complaining to you all about how I don’t have a hope in hell. I strongly advise checking out this website if you are struggling in the resume writing department, it definitely saved me time and a panic attack!

 Editor’s Note: Be sure you work with your Student Services Career Counselors Heather DiLalla in Media ( and Stan Williams in Center City ( for help with your resume, cover letters, and all your job placement assistance!

More money, more problems

The past couple months I have been doing a great job at saving the money I’ve earned here at work, but one day last week someone flipped the switch of my savings mode to shopping mode. I went mad. I tried to make that excuse of “well, summer is coming” but in reality, I’m about 3 months early till the summer time rolls around. I really just wanted to buy new things.spening savings

I wish I could go back to the time where I would have NEVER spent my money, unless I desperately needed to. It’s difficult for a fashion lover like myself to see the spring time clothing starting to show its  fun, flirty and frilly self on the racks and I know I can’t avoid those polka dot bikinis and new gladiator sandals either. Even writing about it makes me beyond ecstatic for that summer sun, midnight fun, and everything in between.

I’m getting off-topic here, let’s get back on track. With more paychecks entering my account, I need to restrain myself or else I’ll be broke. The more money I have, the harder it is not to spend it. The last thing I want is to be in the negatives again – yup, that’s happened. *sigh* Maybe I need to do is start putting money into my savings account, that way I’ll feel as if its 10,000% off limits – technically it is, I mean they don’t calling it your savings account for nothing.

It’s sad to think that I’m a couple days away from turning 20 years old and I can’t even save my money. Practice makes perfect, so if you or someone you know has any helpful tips to saving or budgeting money, I would love to hear it. The more the merrier!

Health Kick

Instructor Taking Exercise Class At GymJust yesterday I signed myself up for the gym. This will be the third time – don’t judge! – but I have been thinking a lot lately, and I really feel like this time will be different. The reason I believe it’ll be different is because I am more than happy with myself right now instead of the usual me nit-picking every flaw I have.

Now you’re all probably thinking “Then why are you signing up for the gym?” Well lucky for you I will answer that obvious question. I joined – again – because it’s now not about getting my numbers real low or to trying to look like the models on the runway. I am doing this because I want to be healthier, and maybe tone my body in the process. I want to improve the body I already have because I am proud of what I’ve got going on, and there’s nothing wrong with giving my internal and external self a little TLC. Everyone was created differently; there is no one out there that is like you, so why not better yourself and become the best you can be?

That’s why I think it is going to work this time around. I am focused and I am determined. Maybe I’ll post about my struggles and my gains because I know for sure I’ll have some of those – hopefully more gains than struggles. We’ll see about that blog topic in a couple weeks, possibly months, but it would be great motivation for me. I definitely do not want to become lazy and then have to talk about why I gave up! Yikes !

Participate, participate, participate!


As you can already tell by reading this title, this post is all about participation!

During my high school years I was very shy when it came to speaking in front of my classmates. Even to this day I get a little timid, but now that I have pretty much grown out of my nervous shell, my hand is the first one to go up when a teacher asks a question or if I need help with a problem. The reason why participation is super important is because if you just sit there and “listen”- and we all know that you’re just pretending to listen while your mind has wandered off topic completely- chances are you’re not going to remember a thing when you step out of that class room. Not even whatever you ended up thinking about while you had your “I’m paying attention” face on. Believe me, my entire high school career I was anxious not to say a peep and it definitely showed in my overall GPA year after year.

So next time you want to answer the questions your teacher is asking you, raise that hand up, girl! (Or boy) Try to remember that if you’re stuck on a problem or a chapter don’t be afraid to ask questions. Doing these things will only help you and will reflect on your next test or paper. And if you’re still struggling, go see a tutor. It’s free, it’s easy to participate in, and you’ll definitely see THAT reflected in your GPA.


The Luck of the Irish

Being the Irish woman that I am, I am always so excited for St. Patrick’s Day to come around! Plus knowing my birthday is 2 days after makes the month of March that much more important! – Not to toot my own horn but, toot toot!st pats

With my whole family being known for our enthusiasm and our, passionate, fun, and extraordinary personalities, we sure represent and show off who we are and why we think Ireland is the best, just as others would for their nationalities.

So, again this year I will be going to the Polish Club in Clifton Heights to watch my dad preform for the roaring crowd of proud Irish men and women. It is always such a thrill to watch because singing has always been a passion of his since he was a “wee lad”- as he would say. The day after that, I will be hopping on the trolley with a bunch of my friends to go to Center City Philadelphia where they will be having their annual St. Patrick’s Parade to celebrate this glorious holiday. We will all raise a pint of Guinness to it being the only day when it’s acceptable to wear green, white and orange all in one outfit. I can’t wait — every year it’s a blast and my bet is that it will be just as amazing this year.

Just cross your fingers that it doesn’t rain on my parade