New First-Year and Transfer Students Begin Their Arcadia Journeys

August 23, 2019 Caitlin Burns

More than 600 first-year and transfer students started their collegiate journeys at Arcadia on Aug. 23. 

During Move-In Day, faculty, staff, and student-athletes helped carry mini fridges, bedding, books, and other college necessities into Grey Towers Castle and Thomas, Dilworth, Heinz, Kistler, and Knight Halls, as new resident students settled into their rooms and prepared for the semester ahead.

“We were all created to have an impact on this world and the people around us,” said President Ajay Nair at the Orientation welcome event. “Arcadia is the perfect destination for change agents like you.” 

Many members of the Class of 2023 came with extraordinary stories. For Thalia Vega ’23, from Chambersburg, Pa., college is a dream come true after overcoming homelessness as a child. 

“I went to 14 different schools by the time I was in eighth grade, and we were living on the streets,” said Vega, who is majoring in International Studies with a minor in Education. “I applied on my own to the Milton Hershey School because I wanted something different for my life. Everyone told me I couldn’t do it, and that I wouldn’t go to college. Now, I’ve proved everyone wrong.”

Vega hopes to work at the Writing Center and with the Office of Institutional Diversity, as well as become a student ambassador and resident assistant. She also hopes to participate in the Peace Corps Prep program to teach English to children abroad.

Tyler Costaro ’23, a Psychology major and Arcadia baseball player from Rockville Center, N.Y., didn’t imagine he’d be seeking a career centered on helping others overcome their struggles. In 2016, Costaro’s father suffered a Grade 5 Ruptured Brain Aneurysm—an experience only one percent of patients survive. As his father lay comatose, Costaro pleaded for him to touch a baseball he’d laid at his bedside. His father did so, marking his first movement in more than 24 hours. After a month, his father regained consciousness, and his recovery has steadily progressed since. It was witnessing his father’s perseverance and dedication that led Costaro to rethink his career trajectory. 

“Three years ago, if you would have asked me to enter a field to help and teach others, I would’ve said ‘absolutely not,’” said Costaro. “But after what happened, I had to take on a new role. I realized how much I enjoy seeing others succeed. This is what I want to do with my life.”

Others in the class always knew they wanted to attend Arcadia, but didn’t quite know how they’d get here. Ebony Scott ’23, a Public Health major from Philadelphia’s Mount Airy section, grew up hearing about her grandmother’s experiences at Beaver College. After seeing an advertisement for the Public Health program, she knew Arcadia was the place she needed to be this year.

“When I first visited, I loved the tight-knit atmosphere—it felt like a home away from home,” said Scott. “Everyone was welcoming. It was the familial aspect that I’d been looking for.”

A dual enrollment student from Philadelphia’s Girls High School, Scott brings with her credits from two courses she took her junior and senior years of high school. Additionally, she spent this summer training to be an EMT through the University’s Emergency Medical Services Training Certification program, a collaboration between Arcadia’s Department of Public Health and the Montgomery County Department of Public Safety. Following graduation, she’ll seek conditional employment as an EMT until she passes the practical test and written exam.

Classes begin on Wednesday, Aug. 28, with upperclass students returning to Arcadia on Aug. 26 and 27.

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