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HEOP Students Lobby at the State Capitol

Friday, March 04, 2011

By Mackenzie Watroba '11

On February 8, students from Siena College’s Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) advocated for continued support and funding for the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) and opportunity programs at the annual Lobby Day held at the State Capitol in Albany, N.Y.

The students met with legislators to share their personal stories and emphasize that opportunity programs work. “These funding programs have given me the opportunity to leave my family in New York City and opened up doors to a successful future,” Kewil Valdez ’14 said. “I have always wanted to be an accountant and with the advice and help of HEOP, I am getting closer to my goal.”

 

Through the different support programs (tutoring, mentoring and counseling) that HEOP offers, students are growing as individuals too. “This program has given me the opportunity to be the first person in my family to attend college,” said Melissa Infante ’11. “Now I have the opportunity to mentor freshmen, which has enhanced my leadership skills too.” 

Alfredo Medina, assistant vice president for academic affairs said the students did a phenomenal job of conveying their message to the State legislators. “When you hear about the struggles that these students are overcoming, the message is powerful and humbling. I am very proud of our students,” Medina said.

The HEOP program at Siena College is one of the most successful in New York State and boasts a graduation rate of 86 percent within four years, higher than both state and national averages. 

 

 


Contact: Ken Jubie
Contact E-mail: communications@siena.edu

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