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“This place feels like a good fit”

During our moving weekend last year, a new explorer decorated our dorm room. Learn more about his three new Explorers who will begin their La Salle journey this fall.

Three new Explorers discuss why they chose La Salle and where their education will take them

At LaSalle University, students turn dreams into reality.

For the 2026 class, the journey is just beginning. This fall, students at all three colleges will begin laying the groundwork for their careers, regardless of their course of study or desired career path.

Meet three students from La Salle’s freshman class and explain why they found La Salle to be a good fit for them.

Carissa Gabriel, ’26

Carissa Gabriel, who wanted to follow in her mother’s footsteps and build a career in nursing, was looking for a college that offered the best academic and practical training. She started searching for colleges and looked at various institutions. Soon, LaSalle became the frontrunner.

Carissa Gabriel, '26
Carissa Gabriel, ’26

Choosing La Salle was an easy decision due to the small class sizes, clinical practice starting in the student’s second year, and the high first-time pass rate for NCLEX.

“I think this place is a perfect fit,” she said.

Gabrielle, who commute from her home in Philadelphia, received a Community Service Scholarship. She considers it a lifesaver for her and single mother Marie. Gabriel said La Salle’s admissions team and nursing faculty have assisted her throughout her admissions process and made it easy.

Gabrielle intends to use her degree as a first step towards becoming a women’s health nurse and midwife.

“After graduating from LaSalle, I plan to work as a nurse in a hospital in Philadelphia,” she says. I plan to use some of my resources to help public health and reduce inequality in low-income communities like Philadelphia, and as a traveling nurse before returning to school to become a nurse. I would like to spend some time there.”

John “Jake” Hallinan, 26 years

For Jake Hallinan, choosing to major in accounting was a family prophecy. Both parents from Downingtown work in the field. He decided to pursue his degree at LaSalle because of its hands-on faculty.

“When I toured the various schools, I was really drawn to La Salle’s values ​​and strong sense of community,” he added. “I plan to participate in campus activities and recreational sports while I’m here.” I am really looking forward to being part of the LaSalle community.”

John “Jake” Hallinan, 26 years
John “Jake” Hallinan, 26 years

Hallinan was able to attend a class with C. Andrew “Andy” Lafond (DBA, CPA, Associate Professor of Accounting) on ​​campus. After talking with LaFonde after his class, Hallinan felt like he was right here.

Hallinan pursues a four-year dual program of Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Master of Business Administration (BS/MBA). He said the opportunity to complete his two degrees in four years was a big draw for the program, and that his La Salle program helps students find quality internships and employment opportunities in and around Philadelphia. He said that along with the reputation, this was a big attraction for the program.

“I loved the small, interactive classes, and the coaching was very engaging when I shadowed for the day,” he said. “My goal for the next four years is to maximize both my classroom education and my internship opportunities. , with communication and leadership skills.”

Cariany Burgos, ’26

For Cariany Burgos, continuing her education close to home was a priority. A native of Philadelphia, Burgos is caring for his father, Ariane, who is battling muscular dystrophy. I also help take care of her sister. LaSalle stood out during the college search because of its programs and location.

Cariany Burgos, '26
Cariany Burgos, ’26

Burgos majors in Criminal Justice and is also part of the Academic Discovery Program (ADP). The Academic Discovery Program (ADP) is an admissions program that provides free support services to students who benefit from academic assistance and meet certain criteria of financial need.

“The ADP program has helped me a lot,” she said.

Burgos said the program has not only helped make college affordable, but also provides her with additional resources to succeed academically. Burgos said she was drawn to LaSalle’s criminal justice program because she had dreams of working in law enforcement and eventually becoming a federal agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). She said a friend of hers had previously completed LaSalle’s program, so she recommended it to her.

Upon visiting, Burgos was immediately drawn to the campus community, and the Criminal Justice major offered more than other colleges.

“I much preferred LaSalle’s program,” she said.

— Meg Ryan

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