Alumnus Found Voice at YCP and Now Helps Others Find Theirs
At York College of Pennsylvania, Bryce Kruger ’18 found his voice and built on his passion to help others. Now, as a Corporate Engagement Manager with United Way of York County, he’s helping those in the community find their voices.
Like many first-year students heading off to college, Bryce Kruger ’18 wasn’t exactly sure what he wanted to choose as a career. After touring a number of colleges, he says, “I didn’t find one that really spoke to me in the way that was small-town feel, with big-city opportunity.” However, when he visited York College of Pennsylvania, he states, “I found that York was the right place for me. It was the right size where I could be seen and be a person and be more than just a number, but also have the opportunity to grow and do great things.”
Coming to the College as an undeclared major, Kruger had the flexibility to explore different paths and discover his passion. His academic advisor, Stephanie Perago, who serves as the Coordinator for Undeclared Student Advising, was a “guiding influence that helped me redefine what it meant to spread your wings and explore,” he says. “She was there to be a sounding board and help guide the experience and where I wanted to go.”
Finding His Voice
That freedom led Kruger to explore many different opportunities. As a Spartan, he was very involved on campus. He was a part of YCP Road Crew, the York College Community Opportunity Scholarship Program (YCCOSP), served on Student Senate, and was as an Orientation Leader. “I think that was a really good experience for me to be able to help other people find their passion, find their voice, and get their feet on the ground,” he says.
One of his courses, Public Speaking with Associate Professor Brian Furio, was an integral part of Kruger finding his voice. He thought he was a good public speaker and found he still had room for growth. After failing his first exam—which accounted for one-third of his final grade—he realized that he needed to hold himself accountable. “It was a surreal and humbling experience that forced me to recognize that you’re responsible for where you want to go,” he said. “It was his [Furio’s] storytelling that was a genuine way for me to learn, so, I will always hold him dear to my heart and appreciate what he did for me.”
Giving Voice to Others
Kruger had the opportunity to intern and network with a variety of community organizations before graduation. He interned with Downtown Inc., York County Economic Alliance, Building Future Leaders of York County Conference, and also with York College in helping to develop a mentoring program.
From there, he found his role with United Way of York County. As a Volunteer Coordinator, Kruger connected with individuals, groups, and organizations who wanted to volunteer in the community.
Now, as a Corporate Engagement Manager, his role is ever-changing and evolving. He works to fundraise for local nonprofits—34 partner agencies. “I work with individuals and companies to help them raise money and see why the benefit of giving to United Way of York County helps them give back to the community that they live in,” he says.
Through his work, he’s discovered a deeper appreciation of conversation with others—hearing their stories and helping them to find their own voices and helping promote those voices. “I’m passionate about amplifying the genuine and authentic voices of those around me in a means which brings about organic grassroots change. I like to bring about change as a result of conversation,” Kruger says.
Continuing to Give Back
As he looks back over his experience as a Spartan and now as a member of his home community making a difference, Kruger is still defining his voice and his passion by helping others find theirs. “A primary thing I learned at YCP was how to form an identity and I use that today to not only continue to form mine, but to help others form theirs,” he says. “YCP was a way to learn how to project your voice, but also to amplify the voices of others, which is key for me.”
Kruger has this piece of advice for fellow Spartans as he continues to live by these words: “Do more than what has been provided for you. Don’t be content with the baseline of service. And then you will grow.”
York College supports students as they work to turn career dreams into reality. Some 99% of new, full-time students receive financial assistance or scholarships. A variety of scholarships and grants are available, based on both merit and financial need.