Philadelphia Mother of Six Returns to Complete College Degree

Wandell Scott (Northeast High School) graduates with her Associate Degree in Health Care Administration.

Wandell Scott

Wandell Scott carries a sense of pride watching her six children experience and complete high school. She became overjoyed as they got dressed up for prom. But while she remained proud, Scott couldn’t help but feel empty. 

In 1992, Scott was a sophomore at Roxborough High School when she became pregnant with her oldest child. Doctors labeled the pregnancy high risk, with the potential for miscarriage or permanent damage. Knowing the dangers she faced in pregnancy, Scott dropped out of high school. She considered returning after giving birth but continued to face mental and physical challenges. 

“I wanted to finish school, but I felt like I couldn’t do it,” Scott said. “I was young and I started work. I had postpartum. I just didn’t go back.”

Scott worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant. As she advanced in her career, the lack of a high school diploma inhibited her from growing. That, combined with watching her children go through school, lit a fire to get her diploma. 

In 2021, with four children graduated and two more in high school, Scott made the decision to return. She started at a night school through One Bright Ray before enrolling in Northeast High School’s Educational Options Program. 

Two years later, Scott’s six children sat in the front row and cheered loudly as she crossed the stage to get her high school diploma. 

“My kids were my biggest support for going back to high school,” Scott said. “I don’t care how old or young you are, you can’t get anywhere without a high school diploma.”


On May 16, Scott will be back walking across the stage again. She will receive her Associate Degree in Health Care Administration from Manor College. 

Scott first heard of Manor College when her daughter, Jahkeera Williams, began her college search in 2018. 

“She was between here and another school,” Scott said. “She got accepted to both but didn’t love the other school. Her eyes were fixed on Manor.” 

When she was younger, Scott wanted to go to college to be a registered nurse. After dropping out of high school, that wasn’t an option. Today, she’s a Health Unit Coordinator at Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia. 

“I love to be around people,” Scott said. “I love to give them help that other people may not give them.”

Scott’s degree didn’t come easy. There were times when the mother of six considered stopping college. 

“I just felt like a lot was coming down on me,” Scott said. “I prayed to Allah and asked for help to get me through this.”

When she struggled, Scott reached out to her professors – particularly her advisor, Mary Sims, or Dr. Marti Trudeau. Scott remembers how Trudeau printed out assignments for her from Canvas when she had technology issues. Sims often motivated her with words of encouragement.

“Those ladies have been a big inspiration to me since I started college,” Scott said. “They knew me. They knew my work and they knew my worth. I can’t thank them enough for all they have done for me.” 

Most of all, Scott’s children remained her biggest cheerleaders. When Scott struggled with homework or needed help studying for a test, her children would sit and read with her. 

“I’d tell myself, ‘I can’t stop. I need to make my kids proud of me,’” Scott said. “I’m excited for this degree. Now, my kids are going to see me walking down the aisle again.”

Scott recognizes the power that her new college degree holds. 

“This degree has changed my life to be able to go on into the field that I want to be in,” Scott said. “I get overwhelmed with such excitement. It makes me excited that I am able to go to college and get the degree I always wanted.”

Meet our Graduates

Diego Peralta

Brooke Strassle

Eddie Fortesque

Neysha Medina

Yelyzaveta Mazepa

Wandell Scott

Keith Donofrio

Hailey Ramirez

Tamara Ellerbe

More about the 2024 Commencement

Full Website

2024 Commencement Speaker Gregory E. Deavens

Meet the Alumni Speakers

Meet the Student Speakers

Learn More:

Manor College’s Veterinary Technology Program

Schedule a visit to Manor College

Apply to Manor College