Delaware County Community College, Serving Delaware and Chester Counties

Alumni News & Updates

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The life of Gwendolyn McCullough ’18, devoted mother, prison reform advocate and chief of staff for State Representative Mike Zabel, has been a bit of a whirlwind of late.

Last year, after graduating with honors and an associate degree in General Studies, Gwen earned a bachelor’s degree in Professional Studies from West Chester University. A few months later, Representative Zabel hired her. Earlier this year, she received the College’s Alumni Professional Achievement Award and was selected to give the keynote address to hundreds of graduates at 2019 Commencement.

All of this is a remarkable life turn-around for a young woman who only a few short years ago was a prison inmate and combating an addiction to drugs and alcohol. Gwen is quick to say she could not have done it alone. She credits the loving support of her 14-year-old daughter and the College and its Keystone Education Yields Success (KEYS), a state-funded program that provides assistance to single parents, with helping her get her life back. “As soon as I stepped onto campus, I received help right away,” Gwen says of KEYS. “The program was always helpful, including providing textbooks, or that extra motivation I needed when things got tough.”

Now, Gwen devotes much of her time to helping constituents in the 163rd District, which includes Drexel Hill, Clifton Heights, Aldan and parts of Havertown. As chief of staff, she manages Representative Zabel’s district offices. Having known life at rock bottom, she takes great pride and satisfaction in helping others through her job and through her community advocacy. Her advice to anyone suffering from depression or substance abuse is to not give up hope and to tap into the power of education. “To those thinking about going back to school, there are sometimes barriers that you will encounter, but don’t let them stop you. Work around them, while seeking out help from College staff,” she says.

You can watch Gwen's Commencement keynote address on the Collge's YouTube channel.


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April 2019
New Alumni  Award Announced

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2019 Alumna Award Recipient Announced

February 2019
Final call for alumni award nominations

January 2019
Share your inspiring alumni story

December 2018
College Community Mourns the Death of Dr. Jerry Parker