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A first-generation student flourishes with the Rowan partnership

Khaliyah Leach was always determined to go to college.

“I always knew I wanted to go to college,” Khaliyah said. “I wanted to make money and be my own boss.”

She explored some out-of-state universities before deciding that Rowan College at Burlington County was the right choice for her.

“It was the best decision for me, especially during the transition,” Khaliyah said, referring to college’s 2015 partnership with Rowan University that offers RCBC grads guaranteed acceptance to Rowan University and many tuition benefits. “Being a part of that transition was amazing.”

As a first-generation college student, Khaliyah became involved in the college’s Educational Opportunity Fund, which provides extra support to certain students such as those who are among the first in their family to attend college. EOF, like RCBC, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

EOF opened the doors for Khaliyah to become involved in several other campus activities such as the Student Government Association, peer counseling, International club and on-campus employment with the college’s Workforce Development Institute. She even established an EOF club that is still active today.

Khaliyah excelled, earning Dean’s List recognition and graduating in 2017 with high honors. Leach no longer felt an urge to leave New Jersey and took advantage of the Rowan partnership. With a dual major of advertising and public relations, Leach graduated this spring – magna cum laude.

She has also contributed to the Rowan partnership – providing student input into a 3+1 communications program that is being developed for future students with Leach’s interests.

“I try to push everybody to come to RCBC,” Khaliyah said. “It was the best decision and I’m happy where I am.”

Khaliyah's story is part of RCBC’s 50 stories for 50 years. In honor of the college’s 50th anniversary, RCBC is profiling students, faculty, administrators, alumni and the college community. Anyone interested in being featured can contact rcbcnews@rcbc.edu. To follow along on social media, use #RCBC50Stories.