Nursing student helps others find home at York College during SpartaNation Tour
Growing up, Bennett Alexander never really had a moment that defined what he wanted to do. He always knew, though, that he wanted to help people.
That desire, paired with an aptitude for math and science, translated into what he thought fit him best: a career in nursing.
Today, the New Jersey native is in his fourth year as a Nursing student at York College of Pennsylvania. While he’s studying to help people as an RN after he graduates, he’s found an additional calling in helping others find their way to York College, connecting with current, former, and prospective students with the SpartaNation Tour.
Falling in love with the campus
Bennett started to consider Nursing after a health-focused bio class in high school. The class made him feel really comfortable, he says.
He found additional comfort the first time he visited the York College of Pennsylvania campus. He had a friend who was visiting the college, and he and his mom decided to tag along for an official tour and a chance to meet the track & field coach.
“I fell in love with the campus and then the coach and felt comfortable the second I got on campus,” Bennett says.
Working as a nurse
Although Bennett never pursued pole vaulting like he originally planned, he found something more at York College.
He had an opportunity to do an externship at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia that confirmed his love of pediatrics. He’s now working there as a nurse tech during his breaks. He hopes it will transition to a role as an RN after he graduates in December 2019.
“I was able to connect with these kids and their families and be able to help them however I could,” Bennett says. “It just made me feel even better about thinking that pediatrics was right for me.”
In addition to his class load and nurse tech position, Bennett works in student activities, is an RA on campus, and is the vice president of LAMBDA, an LGBTQ alliance club on campus. Despite his busy schedule, he’s still found time to be a part of the SpartaNation Tour program.
Meeting new students
During the SpartaNation Tour, students from all majors and extracurricular activities travel to cities on the East Coast to talk with alumni and students interested in York College. Bennett went on the trip twice.
“The entire program as a whole is meant to bridge a gap between alumni, current students, and prospective students,” Bennett says.
The crew travels to New York City, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Towson, King of Prussia, and finally, York for a closing reception. There are networking receptions in each city for students to talk to alumni and prospective students.
For Bennett, it’s an opportunity to get kids interested in nursing. He said most of the students that come to the reception end up at York College the next fall. However, his favorite part is the common themes that bind all students to the college. He asks the same question to each person: Why did you choose York?
‘A place where they wanted to be’
“There’s always a common theme that when they were on campus or here they felt comfortable, like it was a home to them,” Bennett says. “It felt like a place where they wanted to be. People who graduated in the 1950s and 60s have the same view as me and prospective students.”
Bennett found a home at York College, and the SpartaNation Tour has allowed him to do the same, while accomplishing that childhood dream of growing up to help others.