Mother of Westmont alum enrolls as student

Views 53 | Time to read: 2 minutes | Uploaded: 9 - 12 - 2018 | By: Roslyn Smith

Inevitably, someone will ask you, “What is it like to be a Westmont student?” Someday, you may be asked, “What is it like to be a Westmont parent?” Many of the students who graduate from Westmont become Westmont parents, thus beginning a Westmont legacy. But how many Westmont parents become Westmont students?
Julie Dahan is a freshman in the Westmont class of 2022, and she is also the mother of a former Horizon editor, Joshua Daneshforooz ’08! Julie’s enrollment at Westmont adds a unique dimension to the diverse population trending this year on our campus.
Dahan initially felt apprehensive about considering Westmont, stating, “I felt almost disrespectful to the youth at Westmont, because I would be attending college as a much older person than they are. I was actually considering their experience; students that I don’t even know.”
Dahan’s reluctance led her away from Westmont, explaining, “I went on a five-year search for the right college for me. I was avoiding Westmont, just because Josh had attended Westmont. The five years passed, my research grew deeper...finally, I asked myself, ‘What exactly inspires me to want to go to college?’ My answer: Josh’s changed life! He speaks exceptionally well, and he has been coaching me since 2008 to use correct rhetoric. I even picked up a few new habits over the years.”
Dehan suddenly began to trace her inspiration back to its source. “Dr. Spencer taught Josh. Dare I go visit Westmont? Dare I apply? So, I asked Josh if it would bother him if I applied to Westmont.” He said, ‘I would prefer that you go to Westmont!’”
Dehan explained that her mother said, “Oh, how wonderful, one of my kids is going to college!” Other family members told her, “You are inspiring our whole family.”
Under the instruction of Dr. Greg Spencer, Dehan will complete her degree over the next four years with a major in Communications. She also plans to complete a minor in Writing under the direction of Dr. Randy VanderMey. Dehan repeatedly emphasized “the outstanding support that I have received from the professors here.”
Even though the first few weeks have been slightly awkward, Dehan remains optimistic. She said, “Westmont is the first place, since I was 18 years old, that I feel safe enough to begin to practice being my authentic true self.” Dehan expressed that she feels called to pray for all the students at Westmont to do well in their school work. That’s the heart of a parent; a Westmont parent.


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