TyJae Murray

TRIO mentor helps others adjust to college

TyJae Murray

Don’t let TyJae Murray’s “naturally bubbly personality” fool you – she’s 100% serious about her academics, her residents, her job, her future and making her mom proud.

A South Carolina native, the senior computer information systems and technology major moved to Philadelphia when she was 10.

“The city’s nice, but when I was looking for a college, I was looking for something small,” she said. Pitt-Bradford is a place that allows her to concentrate on the things she finds most important.

She first came to Pitt-Bradford to study engineering. “When I was younger, I did not want to play with doll babies. When I moved to Philadelphia, I was really interested in the bus system and how it worked and other technical stuff.”

Technical people became engineers, she thought. But in that first year, she said, she didn’t know how to study. Talking with her TRIO adviser helped her decide to change her major from engineering to computer information systems and technology. TRIO, a federally funded program that provides one-on-one mentors for students who are at greater risk for not completing college, also helped her develop the study skills she needed.

“For me, TRIO provides one-on-one support,” Murray said. “My advisor is more in touch with me as a student and not just my academics. They focus on my mental health and well-being and all aspects of my life. They have given me a lot of good advice.”

As a senior, Murray is taking a TRIO class on how to conduct a job search that has her feeling confident about navigating that process when she graduates in the spring. She also mentors other students taking part in the TRIO program. As a mentor, she meets with her mentees to offer advice and make sure they are adjusting to college.

“I’ve been motivated and inspired by TRIO, and I want to give back to younger students,” she said. “It overlaps with being a resident assistant. I like being able to share.” One thing she can definitely offer advice about is time management.

She already has plenty of work experience from her off-campus job at McDonald’s, where she manages the morning shift five days a week.

Her final way of expressing her Panther Pride is by being a member of Blue and Gold Society, which works closely with the Pitt-Bradford Alumni Association on its events and gives her a chance to meet and work with more people.

“I’m always looking for a networking opportunity so I can get those connections,” she said.

In everything, her inspiration is her mom, who worked toward her nursing degree while raising Murray and her younger brother.

Murray said she works and serves as a resident assistant in part to help pay for her college.

“I hate to ask her for money,” she said. Being an RA includes free room and board for students. In addition, Murray has a Panther Scholarship that defrays the cost of tuition.

“My mom is my best friend,” she said. “She has told me about her childhood and how she grew up. She didn’t have what I had as far as education. You know, parents say they try to make their children’s lives better, and I recognize that. It makes me want to do better. I want to make her proud.”