4/27/2015 11:33:20 AM
Sharing HEOP Success
Wednesday, February 01, 2012
By Eric Guzman '12
A group of Siena alumni returned to campus for the Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) Alumni Speaker Panel. The panel is part of a series that allows alumni to share their experiences with current HEOP students to give them inspiration for the future.
“These events allow our students to meet people who were once in the same position and hear from people who went through the same struggle,” said Director of HEOP Carol Sandoval. “Meeting alumni shows students that they can be successful in what they want to do and (it) is a good networking opportunity as well.”
HEOP provides access to a college education for students who may not be able to attend college due to educational and financial limitations. Eligibility is based on both academic and economic criteria. Once admitted to HEOP, students receive a variety of academic support services designed to help them succeed.
“Siena has countless opportunities for its students. It is my hope that you can take advantage of them all," said panelist Larry Colon '06. He is a customer service corporate audit liaison at Delta Airlines.
Joining him on the panel were University at Albany Coordinator of the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program Felicia Collins ’88, Assistant Professor of Multicultural Education at the University of Connecticut Jason Irizzary, Ed.D. ’96, Townsquare Media of Albany Marketing and Promotions Director Selena Dutcher ’97, and General Electric Energy Water Business Financial Analyst Kelly Jean-Charles ’07.
The professionals shared their Siena experiences and how they were able to establish themselves in their current careers.
"We all knew that by going to college, we could end up in a better place,” said Dutcher. “I wanted to be better. Siena allowed me to do that.”
Irizzary agreed, saying, “Siena provided me with a wonderful education to continue on to graduate school. The quality of education I received was second to none and was a springboard into my career.”
During the luncheon, Sandoval commented on the achievements of the HEOP Program over the years. She explained that students have been more academically successful, engaged in campus life and established themselves as leaders. She expects the size of the increasingly competitive program to double within the upcoming years and credited the accomplishments of its graduates with providing a strong foundation for future success.
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