Manor College Graduate Blossoms After Getting Involved on Campus

Brooke Strassle (Plymouth-Whitemarsh High School) graduates from Manor College with her Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development.

A few months ago, Brooke Strassle walked into the Apple Store while helping a friend get an Apple Watch when she was approached by one of the employees. The woman noticed Strassle’s blue Manor College sweater and recognized her from a recent Open House. 

Strassle and the employee talked about Manor College for the next few minutes. They discussed the employee’s potential major and why Strassle felt comfortable at Manor. 

It wasn’t the most monumental conversation, but for Strassle, it was a sign of how far she’s come during her time at Manor. 

“The Brooke of two years ago wouldn’t have felt comfortable having that conversation,” Strassle said. “Seeing what I could accomplish at Manor built my confidence. I’ve done things here I never would have done because I feel comfortable here.”


Brooke Strassle during a volleyball game on 2022.

Strassle discovered Manor College while living nearby in Fox Chase. At the time, she attended community college and transferred to Manor with a friend based on affordability.

She never considered what the “college experience” would be like since, as a commuter student in community college, Strassle didn’t remain on campus long. That changed when she moved into the dorms with her friend, Kaitlyn Rampone. 

“I got thrown into the college experience immediately,” Strassle said. “On move-in day, we went to a Pitbull concert. We got to decorate our room how we wanted. It was a place where I could be a student and not deal with life stress.” 

In her early years, Strassle leaned into her introverted personality. School was life after all, and her expectations for success became consuming. During her first year at Manor, she worked at a local daycare and side-hustled as a babysitter accompanying children waiting for the bus. Strassle spent hours in class and extra time in her residence hall room focused on homework, all while playing volleyball for the Manor College Blue Jays.

The weight of those expectations soon became too heavy. 

“There were moments when I caught myself being so overwhelmed to where I couldn’t do anything,” Strassle said. “I wasn’t getting anything done because I had so much to do. I just was exhausted. I was missing out on life because I was terrified of not getting work done. I wasn’t doing what someone is supposed to be doing in their 20s.” 


Like the conversation with an Apple Store employee, Strassle catches glimpses of herself now and notices the immense changes from her younger self. 

She’s more outgoing, for starters. At the encouragement of others, she joined many organizations around campus. She became a Presidential Ambassador and a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society. She started the Volleyball Club and helps with the Early Childhood Education club. 

During her second year at Manor, she became a Resident Assistant. The combination of those duties forced her out of her introverted shell. 

“I didn’t have a choice but to learn to be more social,” Strassle said. “As an RA, everyone has that one person they can talk to. For many, that was me.” 

Living on campus made it easier to get involved. As a commuter, she justified skipping events because of her distance from campus. Now that she lived across the parking lot from a basketball game or an evening gathering, she grew more likely to attend. 

“My advice to students is that in college, you get what you make of your experience,” Strassle said. “It’s easy to stay in your room and not come out, but you have to be able to put yourself in those uncomfortable situations, or find friends who you can partner up with that make those uncomfortable situations easier.”

Strassle graduates with her Bachelor’s degree in Child Development in May. She’s looking to attend graduate school to work as a speech-language pathologist. 

“I first learned about it in one of my classes, what they do, and why it’s important,” Strassle said. “With everything that’s going on in the world, I want to help children learn how to communicate. They need to be advocated for.” 

Strassle believes she’ll “miss everything” about Manor – the professors, the environment, playing sports – but one thing she’ll miss most is the ability to easily create new friendships. She met a freshman soccer player during the opening week of school. He was sitting by himself, so Strassle invited him to lunch. He’s become part of a core group of friends she has at Manor. 

“I was that person where you’re sitting by yourself and you don’t know the first thing to do,” Strassle said. “This school is different. Because it’s small, you’re all just here. You get to know everyone. It’s very inclusive and people just walk up to you to talk because of it. It’s nice to be that person for someone else.”

Meet our Graduates

Diego Peralta

Brooke Strassle

Eddie Fortesque

Neysha Medina

Yelyzaveta Mazepa

Wandell Scott

Keith Donofrio

Hailey Ramirez

Tamara Ellerbe

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