Posted May 13, 2013

Ferrer finds pathway to success beyond North Philadelphia

Joseph V. Labolito
Pedro Ferrer

Pedro Ferrer’s journey through college was influenced by a supportive group of professors, family members and neighbors who encouraged him to chase his dreams.

The North Philadelphia native grew up close to Temple, but never considered the university a possibility for his future.

“I knew I would end up in college, my path was just a little different,” said Ferrer, who worked full time in Computer Services to help pay for his tuition.  “I never considered Temple out of high school, but coming here is the best thing that ever happened to me.”

While pursuing an associates degree at Community College of Philadelphia, Ferrer developed an interest in sociology. The discipline helped him understand the problems that affected his community from a different perspective.

“My life could have turned out a lot different,” said Ferrer, who admits that he wasn’t the best student in middle school. “At some point I decided exactly what it was I wanted to do, and so I went for it.”

Ferrer has been accepted to Drexel University’s Earle Mack School of Law, where he’s considering studying intellectual property law or criminal law. Although he finds the salary that practicing intellectual property promises compelling, he’s leaning toward a career in criminal law.

“I’ve watched friends get in trouble and never have an opportunity to follow their path,” he said. “I know people in situations where justice was in no way served. When I hear stories about innocent men who have to serve time for crimes they didn’t commit, it motivates me to practice criminal law.”

Ferrer plans to give back to the community that shaped him by helping create a thriving community of renters and homeowners north of Broad Street.

“Recently, my father and I started Ferrer Enterprises,” he said. “It's a work-in-progress but it will eventually become a Community Development Corporation operating in my hometown, Hunting Park.”

Ferrer and his father currently own three residential properties, which they eventually will sell or rent to local tenants.

Although it was challenging to balance work, school and family, Ferrer said the support of his community helped him stay focused.

“Every single day I wake up I think about my father and brother and how hard they work to take care of their families,” he said. “Watching them was always encouraging. Work hard now, play later.”

That philosophy has served Ferrer well, guiding him to create the future he had always dreamed possible.

“A door has opened and all I have to do is walk through,” he said.