The Second Chance
By: Liz Gramlich, Lion’s Eye Staff Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org
Frenc Baro had to leave everything behind and move to America to ensure a better life with his family, which has lead to him having the ability to go to college and receive his degree this May in information science and technology (IST) with a minor in business.
Baro was born in Albania after the fall of communism and his parents felt that the country was an unsafe place; therefore they moved to Greece in search of a better life. In Greece the economy started to decline and their education became very limited as well as their job opportunities. This would lead Baro’s family to applying for a Diversity Immigrant Visa and being chosen to come to the U.S. through this process in 2004.
At the age of 11 it became very difficult for Baro to make the transition from living in Europe to then living in America. The main reason for this was that he did not know the English language or understand the culture yet and he was now being thrown into this culture where he needed to assimilate to succeed. Baro was able take on these challenges and go on to graduate from Springfield High School and be accepted into Penn State Brandywine.
Baro choose Penn State Brandywine because the school offered the major he was interested in and he felt like Brandywine had an inviting atmosphere. Brandywine also had a soccer team; this was exciting for Baro because he has had a passion for soccer his entire life. Unfortunately Baro was injured playing soccer in the beginning of his freshman year so he was not able to play. But by the next year he was out on the field again doing what he loved. Soccer became a way for Baro to relieve the stress of school and work. Brandywine’s soccer coach, Scott Spangler influenced Baro on and off the field. When Baro played soccer for Brandywine they won back-to-back championships and Baro was chosen to be a captain of the soccer team for his senior year.
While working on his academics, Baro was thankful to go through his courses with his friends, Andrew Sinigaglio and Blendi Hasa, who were there with help and support. One thing that stood out about his educational experience was that his education involved a lot of hands on experiences and group projects that applied to work in a career setting. Baro’s advice to future students would be to make friends while you are in school because they will help you during times that you are in need of support.
If he had stayed in Albania, Baro would not have had the opportunity to succeed and earn a degree.
Baro and his immediate family had to leave everything behind including their friends and family in hopes of a better life in order to have the opportunity to accomplish their dreams. Baro states,
“If you look back at what you have done and smile, you have accomplished your goals. I am able to smile because my parents have gave me that chance in life.”