The Oldest of 12 Children, Manor College Grad Takes Pride in Setting the Example

Image via Manor College.
Chyna Mckinney.

Growing up as the oldest of 12 children living in a single Philadelphia home, Chyna Mckinney ‘23 remembers the loving chaos of being part of a big family. 

There’s a responsibility, too. When Mckinney graduates from Manor College with her Associate’s Degree in Pre-Nursing this May, she’ll be a first-generation college graduate, and the first among her siblings to complete their degree. 

That love and responsibility was put to the test years earlier. Following her graduation from Tech Theory Charter School in Philadelphia, Mckinney attended another institution in Baltimore.

In March of 2022, Mckinney got a call from her family in Philadelphia – her mother had a heart attack and things weren’t looking good. She says at that moment, it was life and death. 

The call came during midterm exams week, so Mckinney began emailing her professors, explaining the situation and that she’d have to miss and retake her exams. Most were understanding, but one professor in particular wouldn’t excuse her, even with proof that Mckinney was in the hospital caring for her mother. 

“I honestly couldn’t believe that she wouldn’t excuse me or anything,” Mckinney said. “They just didn’t care. That was the end for me at that college.” 

Mckinney first visited Manor College as a senior in high school. As her mom recovered from a heart attack, Mckinney began looking at institutions closer to home, and visited Manor College again. 

Upon visiting, she instantly felt the connection she missed at her former institution. She officially enrolled in the college for the Fall 2022 semester.

“Manor College just has their arms open,” Mckinney said. “They want to know you, help you grow as a person and achieve your goals.” 

At Manor College, she became part of the women’s soccer team and the mental health club. She became a work-study in Manor College’s Advancement Office, where she worked closely with Executive Director of Advancement, Tom Sims. 

After graduation, Mckinney is pursuing a career as a forensic nurse. 

As she crosses the stage this May, Mckinney writes the next chapter in her own story.

“When I start something, I need to finish it,” Mckinney said. “I put so much hard work, effort and money into college that I wasn’t just going to throw it away. I did a lot, and now that I’m finished, I want to go into the field and become what I know I can become.”

You Belong Here at Manor College.

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