Jamal Dancy

Ask Jamal Dancy '24 about his university experience and he won’t sugarcoat it: College can be hard.


But he feels like 鶹Ƶ is a place where, despite your struggles, you can feel secure in the fact that if you ask for help, you’ll get it.
 

Dancy transferred to Alvernia in May 2022 after earning an associate degree in criminal justice from Reading Area Community College (RACC). What won him over? The O’Pake Institute for Economic Development & Entrepreneurship.
 

“I took a tour of O’Pake and saw what the Institute was doing for the community," Dancy said.


A Reading resident, and one who hopes to make change for the better in his hometown, he sees a difference since Alvernia brought the Institute into the city.


“Since O’Pake made its home here, the change has happened quickly," he said. "Five years ago, I wouldn’t necessarily have walked up and down Penn Street.”
 

As an O’Pake Fellow, he worked in advising nonprofit organizations aiming to get their start at doing good.


“We helped them build business models, to obtain their 501(c)3 status and to fulfill their dreams,” said Dancy proudly.
 

And in a unique twist, he was able to experience the help the Institute can offer a young entrepreneur as well, getting assistance in developing an app of his own geared to universities as a client.
 

Hands-on experiences are what set 鶹Ƶ apart, said Dancy. That, and the knowledge of its professors and the willingness of all members of faculty to lend a helping hand.
 

“Since O’Pake made its home here, the change has happened quickly."


For a commuting student that is also a transfer student, making connections on campus can be more difficult, Dancy admitted. For those who in similar positions, he would recommend starting by getting to know the people in your classes.
 

As he looks to life post-Alvernia, Dancy aims to continue his mission of helping others in his community. His goal is to work in the juvenile probation system for a few years before eventually enrolling in law school to become a judge.
 

It was his internship experience set up by Alvernia with Magisterial District Justice Tonya Butler of Berks County that really inspired his path. Said Dancy, “I want to come back to Reading [my home] and continue to make it a better place.”


For those considering Alvernia, be it as a freshman or transfer student, Dancy said a beautiful campus filled with friendly people awaits. But, as he mentioned, there will be challenges.


Offering sage advice, Dancy advised: “Always have a support system in place. It could be your family, it could be a friend, but have one there to help you through.”

 

Transfer to Alvernia

• No application fee.
• Accept up to 75 credits.
• 14:1 student-to-faculty ratio.
Up to $22,000 in scholarships available.
On-campus housing available.
Partnerships available with select community colleges.
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Criminal Justice Administration

Degree Type:
Bachelor of Arts
College:
Criminal Justice Administration
Location:
  • Reading Campus
Program Type:
Undergraduate Major
Credit Hours:
123
Note:
Also available as a minor