Gwen Blackshear

“Dr. Gwen credits her success to her experiences at North Light and wants that experience for others now. ‘North Light will help them realize that there are limitless possibilities. That they can really go anywhere, be anybody they want to be, do anything.'”

Dr. Blackshear’s Background

Neither of her parents had beyond a high school diploma. In tenth grade, Gwen began attending Roxborough High School – a school long classified as “persistently dangerous” by the Philadelphia School District. Despite her parent’s limited educational attainment, Gwen knew she wanted something more for herself. North Light Community Center provided guidance and encouragement as she explored what her dreams could mean.

North Light’s Impact

Gwen applied to the Summer Career Exploration Program and was accepted the summer after she started at Roxborough. North Light tailored the experience to Gwen’s interest in law. Over three years, she had the opportunity to work with the Philadelphia Court of Common Please as well as the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office. Despite success in these experiences – including being recognized as one of the most success participants – she came to understand her passion wasn’t for law. Ultimately, because of the investment and guidance from North Light, Gwen decided to pursue teaching.

Her Life Now

Today, Gwen is active in giving back – offering inspiration and education to students in the Philadelphia School District. After completing her Bachelor of Arts degree at Penn State, she went on to earn a Master of Education from Lincoln University and finally a Doctorate of Education Degree in Educational Leadership and Management from Drexel University. Dr. Gwen credits her success to her experiences at North Light and wants that experience for others now. “North Light will help them realize that there are limitless possibilities. That they can really go anywhere, be anybody they want to be, do anything.”

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