Education Professional Credits Manor with Helping to ‘Find Her Way’

Debra Ghia ‘74 retired as a Vice President of a non-profit organization in the Lehigh Valley.

Debra Ghia ‘74 built herself an impressive career in education. She worked in Early Childhood Education for more than three decades. She retired as Vice President of a non-profit in the Lehigh Valley that ensured nutritious meals for children. 

She enrolled in Manor College in 1972 for an Associate’s Degree in Medical Secretarial. It didn’t take long for her to realize that path wasn’t for her. When she decided to switch programs, Ghia remembers the encouragement she received from the College.

“When I decided to change into Early Childhood Education, Mother Olga and the other sisters helped me find my way,” Ghia said. 

Ghia, who grew up in Easton, Pa., discovered Manor College through a high school counselor. Her family liked the small, Ukrainian Catholic setting. Manor College fit the description. 

She enrolled in Manor College and lived on campus while earning her degree. She recalls enjoying her time living in the dorms and spending time with fellow classmates. Whenever Sister Julia asked Ghia to take her on an errand, she was always happy to assist.

“Life in the dorm was fun,” Ghia said. “It was like a family.”

Beyond living in the resident hall, Ghia credits Manor College for giving her the tools needed to succeed in the real world. 

“Manor College helped me become more independent,” Ghia said. “You find yourself while you’re in college and Manor helped guide me.”

Her earliest education classes prepared her for the future. While at Manor, she taught as a student-teacher in Abington and Philadelphia. 

“At the time, you don’t realize how those experiences affect your future,” Ghia said. “After college, I could draw upon the knowledge and personal relationships I built. Manor brought me into environments where I could be open to help others.”

Throughout her career, Ghia served as a school board director, a President of a Meals-on-Wheels group, and a board member for a national food sponsor association. Now retired, Ghia sees how Manor College continually provides opportunities like she had. 

“The college has grown so much since I graduated,” Ghia said. “I never thought my career would have evolved the way it did. Manor College gave me the skills for that to happen.”

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