Emmanuel Valery, or “Manny” to most, is a 22-year-old senior from Brooklyn, NY, who is majoring in finance, business analytics, and technology innovation management. While three majors seem like enough to fill a student’s time at Drexel, Manny has certainly made his mark on LeBow throughout the past four years and plans to continue doing so during this last year. He is actively involved in Building Relationships in Diverse Group Experiences (BRIDGE) as the co-chair along with fellow co-chair Christina Custus, and is also a member of the Provost’s Dragon 24 Advisory Board.
Drexel wasn’t always on his radar when evaluating colleges as a high school senior. “I was uninvolved and unmotivated,” Manny said when describing his high school years. He only applied to Drexel because he had a friend who was already attending Drexel who encouraged him to apply. Manny was accepted and started evaluating Drexel as a serious option to continue his education. “The location and Co-Op Program were strong deciding factors,” Manny said. After beginning at Drexel, Manny realized the importance of finding a college that was the right fit for each student and claims he got lucky with Drexel.
Manny has been involved with BRIDGE since he was a freshman at Drexel after his friend, Calvin Speight, referred him to the program. He took advantage of the opportunity to get more involved on campus and has found his time and experiences with the group to be priceless. This program offers “a diverse learning community of minority/underrepresented students in the business college,” Manny said. It also focuses on fostering an environment that encourages the development of academic excellence, community service, social engagement and financial literacy. Various workshops and events are held throughout the year by this group to develop these skills. Alternative spring break trips are also a part of the program, as Manny was able to experience first-hand last year when he visited Los Angeles and San Diego. These activities and events are just a few of the contributing factors that led to LeBow being ranked 8th in the nation for providing great opportunites for minority students.
A strong support group from BRIDGE is what Manny credits as being crucial to his success in college. He is very thankful to have such a strong support network that made his college experience so wonderful and he hopes to continue to have this solid network as he advances in life. He also credits the organization with increasing his self-confidence. As someone who was unmotivated early on in his educational career, the newfound support and confidence have certainly turned this attitude around and enabled Manny to reach his full potential while in class, on co-op, and beyond.
However, moving on from college does not mean Manny plans to leave BRIDGE completely. He hopes to continue his involvement while also joining other affinity groups and employee resource groups within the company he works with after graduation. He knows he works well in collaborative settings and working with others to tackle complex problems and hopes to find these opportunities in his professional career.