Ms. Foor’s mother left the family when she was 4. Her father, Michael Foor, dropped out of college at the Altoona campus of Penn State to raise her and her older brother.
He moved to Breezewood, Pa., a turnpike town near Maryland and West Virginia, where he worked as a waiter and cashier, or took odd jobs. Sometimes he turned to welfare and unemployment, food stamps and food banks. Ms. Foor pitched in, starting at the age of 14, working at Dunkin’ Donuts and McDonald’s.
“I saw the middle-aged people working there and I thought, ‘If I don’t go to college, that’s going to be me,’” she said.
“I don’t think how I grew up is necessarily a bad thing,” she continued. “It taught me the value of a dollar and what it means to work hard and I never look down on another person. But college is the light at the end of the tunnel that will make everything OK.”
Well, OK, could work.
“College is the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Rachel Foor, a senior at I.U.P. pursuing journalism.
Ah, maybe not. An industry that’s just halved its workforce over the past decade might not be that graduate way out…..