It’s Amber Volponi, the lonely intern at Temple University, College of Health Professions and Social Work (CHPSW), Communications and Marketing Department. Whoa, that was a mouth full!

In the very same first week as having to do a newsletter, I was asked to take pictures at a graduation ceremony. The Interim Dean of CHPSW, Michael Sitler, EdD, ATC, FNATA; and Director of the MS in Health Informatics Program and the Interim Chair of the Health Information Management Department, Cindy Joy Marselis, MBA, MS, RHIA were receiving an award for their excellence educational partnership with a program that helps less-fortunate-students chances to get their high school diplomas all the way to their doctorates.

I’m walking around the Kimmel Center in the Green Room (yes, I got important access) and guess who walks in? Mayor Nutter! Well of course, this would be a very important photograph for the Dean. The Mayor comments to me, “Didn’t I meet you before?” Awkwardly, I answered, “Yes, at The Fresh Grocer while I was working at the Coffee Bar.” He replied with, to the group, “It’s nice to see that our youth works very hard.” I turned a very bright red, sipped my Strawberry Lemonade and said “Thank you.” After that, I just took my pictures I needed and didn’t say anything. I was more than sure my face was still red. After all the hors d’oeuvres and wine had been served, and everyone felt comfortable, it was time for the graduation ceremony to commence. I took my seat in the front row, and made sure to get a lot of pictures.

I got to meet a lot of interesting people that night. It was inspiring to hear the struggles some people go through to get an education (not that I didn’t have my own hardship to receive an education). It made me appreciate the chance that I was given at Temple, and with this internship. I had told Cindy about my personal experience , and she felt honored to have gotten the chance to meet me. She, in turn, told the director of this program my story, and I felt humbled. I worked hard to receive these opportunities, and someone recognized it and congratulated me. It was a very eye-opening and personal-discovery experience. I felt inspired by those receiving any degree that night, because I knew exactly what most of those students went through.

I couldn’t have asked to go to a better experience than this. I got to meet and greet with a lot of important people who work within the city and this program. I was made to appreciate my chances and opportunities. Yet I was taught to be proud of myself and my hard work too.