Profile: Amirah Mitchell: Preserving History Through Seeds

Amirah Mitchel in the greenhouse

Recent graduate Amirah Mitchell (TYL ’21) arrived at Temple University with a broad wealth of horticultural and agricultural knowledge and experience. What she didn’t have yet was a degree to turn her passion into a true career.

“Temple made it very easy for me as a transfer student to make the transition to complete my degree — I remember writing this very passionate letter about why I needed to be at Temple and everyone here helped me make that happen,” said Mitchell, 28.

The decision to return to school, Mitchell said, was not without its stresses.

“I thought I was going to get discouraged before I committed to the decision. When I applied to Temple and I came in to see what the possibilities were, I was set up with an admissions counselor and academic advisor and they were just wonderful,” she said. “I initially thought ‘Oh no, I'm going have to do four whole additional years on top of the three I've already done — I don’t want to be in school forever!’”

Mitchell’s advisor, however, “took a look at the classwork I had taken and she said ‘Well, you know, we can get credit for this, this and this.’”

“It was just so encouraging, I think particularly because she saw that as an adult returning to school, I was very serious about my education,” she said.

The support system at Temple for transfer students, Mitchell said, “helped me feel comfortable in my decision, like this was something I could do.”

“My advisor, in my opinion, went above and beyond anything I expected,” she said. “I felt like we were in this together, figuring out how I could transfer and get credit for all of my work.”

One of the aspects that she truly appreciates about Temple, she said, is that “many of us are transfer students and people returning to education after a period of time.”

“Many of us already have some kind of life experience. We’ve had a really excellent opportunity to talk to each other about our careers and experiences,” she said. “So, we get the benefit in our classrooms of talking to each other and learning from someone who came from a teaching background or has worked in psychology.”

Paper in hand, Mitchell said she is ready for any challenges ahead as her career “moves full steam ahead.”

“This journey, for me, has been about seeking opportunities and grabbing hold of them. There's no formula, there's no way to do this right or wrong, but there is the journey,” she said. “I didn’t get here without a long journey of discovery.”