Denisse Contreras Biobehavioral Health


Denisse Contreras

My friend is taking a picture of me sitting next to a Nittany Lion at Penn State Schuylkill.

During my Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) Summer Bridge trip, me and my friends were coming back from the gift shop when we noticed this statue. We all decided to take turns taking a picture with The Lion. I decided to take this picture to have a memory from this trip that would last forever.

As a Penn State student, I am very proud of my university and want to show off my school spirit whenever I get the chance. Penn State is a known school and our population is large, so in a way everyone knows about us as students and what we stand for. We help out in the community and we have great energy. To be a college student means you are trying to get somewhere; You’re studious and trying to further yourself and Penn State helps you do that. There’s a lot of support here. Being a part of Penn State is like being a part of a big family and there is something different to look forward to everyday. I have a big group of friends and everyone has their situation of the day that we somehow all get involved in. This means there’s a lot to look forward to for other people, not just myself. My friends’ accomplishments are like my own because we’re a part of each other’s success and we help each other whenever we can. We information-share everything.

This photo gives you a quick look at my life as a PSU student in the Educational Opportunity Program because here I am traveling and doing different things that are helping me towards my future. I also participated in the PaSSS summer jump start program before Fall semester. If I didn’t start early, I think I would have been lost. These programs helped me know what to expect in the fall by preparing me in the summertime. If I didn’t have people walking me towards my college experience in the beginning, I probably wouldn’t be doing as well as I am now. I also didn’t have to worry about making new friends, because I already had a set of friends to talk to everyday. Being an EOP student at Penn State Lehigh Valley is really giving me a chance to excel and see things in a different light because of all the added knowledge I am gaining from being in this program.

My goal is to graduate and have enough credentials to go to medical school. The experiences I am gaining from Penn State will help me because all I’ve ever experienced is support. Being the first person in my family to go to college means I don’t always have enough support from them because they don’t really understand what I’m going through. But here I do because there are so many of us going through the same phase of life, but in our own ways. You just push yourself to stay focused and not lose sight when things get hard. We get a lot of support, and it’s not one-size fits all. Its customized to our own challenges and strengths. I would have told myself to buckle up when I was applying to college; It will be a lot of long nights and hard work, but it will be worth it in the end.


This post is in conjunction with the Educational Opportunity Webpage at