Unstoppable: Leah Samane '21 CPS Knocked Out Cancer While Finishing Her Degree
Growing up in PA, Leah Samane ’21 CPS set her sights on a career in fashion. She started school in Los Angeles at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, but while she was there she realized her career aspirations had changed. She knew she wanted a career in business so she enrolled in community college and landed a job at an SAP satellite location. After four plus years, Leah relocated back to PA to be closer to family and started a job in franchising with an organization called FranLogic. She started as a marketing coordinator and moved up to Director of Operations within a couple of years.
Leah loved her time at FranLogic; she traveled all around the country opening franchise locations and utilizing her leadership and business skills. After getting married, finishing her associates degree at Delaware County Community College (DCCC), and having her daughter, Harper; Leah decided she wanted to finish her degree. Villanova had always been a dream of hers and in 2018 Leah embarked on her journey in Villanova’s College of Professional Studies.
“From the moment I started at Villanova I felt like my advisor, Robyn Dooley, took into account my goals and my desires. I always knew if Robyn was recommending courses to me, they were the right ones to take and I was confident in the degree plan she laid out for me. Not only did I feel supported, but I felt like my courses were all relevant to my day to day life. They were not only stimulating, they were useful.”
With about a year and a half left in her studies, Leah was diagnosed with breast cancer. In the same way she tackles the rest of her life, with positivity, confidence and determination, a breast cancer diagnosis didn’t slow her down. Leah’s course load never wavered despite surgery and chemotherapy. She attended her online classes at night after having chemotherapy the very same day and, while difficult, she “somehow got through it.”
But “got through it” doesn’t quite tell the story. Leah didn’t just get through it, she excelled. Leah graduates this May and was also inducted into the Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Society, which is reserved for those in the top 20% of their class with a minimum GPA of 3.2. She was also named the CPS Grit Award Winner, which is given to one student each year who demonstrates passion, persistence and a commitment to education. Leah demonstrated a special kind of persistent, the kind that nothing—not even cancer—can stop.
Currently, Leah works for SAP and owns Samane Consulting, which she describes as “an aggregate of really talented people like web designers, copywriters, and marketers.” Leah founded the business to meet the needs and service requests that were coming her way from contacts she made throughout her career.
When asked about where this motivation comes from, Leah doesn’t flinch. “My daughter. She motivates me to do all of this, and especially to earn my degree. With my personality, I knew I’d be successful in life, but I followed a path that was somewhat untraditional. I want her to have the college experience at an earlier stage of life. I want her to see how well I did and use it as motivation. I tell her everyday, you are strong, you are smart, you are beautiful and you can do anything.”
We can’t wait to see what Leah does next. Pursue the Next You!