Janay Dempsey ‘14 graduated from Manor College with her Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts. She grew up in Northeast Philadelphia and attended Northeast High School.
During her sophomore year at Manor College, the mother of Janay Dempsey ‘14 was diagnosed with breast cancer.
“I remember coming from class that winter and my mom was like, ‘I have something to tell you’ and I didn’t think that was going to be what she said,’” Dempsey said. “I knew something was up, because when she helped me move back into the dorms, she had less energy than she usually did, but I didn’t think anything of it.”
Dempsey describes the situation as traumatic. Her coursework grew tougher as the ramp up to graduation began. Dempsey first graduated from Manor College with her degree in Liberal Arts with her mother by her side.
As she began attending Eastern University, Dempsey began to go to therapy to deal with the trauma of her mother’s diagnosis. It was her first experience with counseling and she quickly saw the benefits.
“I always thought something needed to be wrong to go to counseling,” Dempsey said. “I’m not a person who really opens up about things, but because it was so heavy, I needed that support.”
Dempsey used the experience to guide her career. She graduated from Eastern University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work.
Today, Dempsey works as a therapist in the Philadelphia area. In her career, she’s worked with the homeless, those afflicted with HIV and those dealing with drug and alcohol abuse.
“I got into social work because I knew there was a passion for helping people,” Dempsey said. “It was more evident after my mom’s passing. Social work has pros and cons, but there’s a mindset you need to have, one of compassion and patience.”
Dempsey attended Manor College as a way to balance staying close to her Northeast Philadelphia home while also having a college experience.
“Manor College was a two-year college then,” Dempsey said. “I was very undecided on what I wanted to take on in my career and that’s why I went for Liberal Arts.”
While Dempsey eventually went on to study social work, Manor College helped inspire another career. Dempsey took a public speaking class during her freshman year because “it seemed interesting.”
She started the JD Inspo Podcast, which ties in with the book, “JD Inspo Daily Devotional and Workbook” she authored related to women empowerment. The podcast feeds a passion and purpose, Dempsey said. Manor College helped make that possible.
“The public speaking course I took at Manor was super helpful,” Dempsey said. “I love my community and engaging with other people. It’s my passion to go talk to people. That public speaking course I took at Manor gave me the confidence to learn about those connections.”
Dempsey recommends Manor College to potential students because of the foundation it can provide for careers, even if you are unsure of your path.
“Manor was the kickstart for me to get involved in the community and make new connections,” Dempseys said. “That was the stepping stone. It helped me to navigate larger challenges in my life.”