EOF Student to Speak at Commencement

Keivon Hemming
Keivon Hemming is the Ramapo College of New Jersey 2018 Student Commencement Speaker.

Keivon Hemmings is a Music major, double concentrating in Music Production and Music Industry at the Ramapo College of New Jersey. He entered Ramapo College of New Jersey through the Educational Opportunity Fund Program in 2014.

Keivon is very involved on campus. He is a third year Resident Assistant, the Student Coordinator of the Ramapo Admissions Student Ambassadors, a Senior Student Aide within the Admissions Office, and a pioneer of the Ramapo College Concert Band. He is also an intern at RCA Records under Sony Music Entertainment in NYC.

As an involved student on campus, he can be seen all of the time doing something productive and getting involved. Throughout the years, he has done different things that encapsulates what he represents such as give tours around campus, inform interested candidates about the RA position, and even perform his own music on campus, consequently earning the nickname around campus, “Mr. Ramapo.” Under the stage name Blind Eyez, Keivon has made a name for himself on campus by creating and performing his own music, including opening up for the Spring Concert in his sophomore year in front of over 1,000 people when Kid Ink was the headliner. Approaching the future, Keivon hopes to score a career somewhere in the music industry at Sony or other comparable companies while continuing to work on his own music.

Keivon is the Ramapo College of New Jersey 2018 Student Commencement Speaker.

EOF Program’s Professional Mentor Program at County College of Morris

For the past three years, the EOF program at the County College of Morris (CCM) has been running its Professional Mentor Program. The goal of this program is to connect second and third year EOF students with a professional mentor from our campus and the local community. These mentors are professionals within a variety of industries from education, law, business, and others. They assist our scholars with career-oriented activities in line with their future pursuits. Mentors are matched as closely as possible with the majors and career aspirations of each scholar. They meet monthly throughout the academic year and often continue to meet beyond the program’s time frame.

Each November, EOF hosts a kick-off dinner that is attended by the mentors, mentees, college president, vice presidents, EOF dean, and staff. During this time, mentors and mentees are brought together for a networking meal, which follows a series of ‘Speed Encounters,’ where each scholar can practice their elevator pitch with each mentor. Their final encounter is with their actual mentor. Once connected, they set goals for the year, a meeting schedule, and just on-going contact, as they work together. To thank each mentor for their time and service, the mentees will do a special recognition for them during EOF/CCM’s Annual Awards Dinner at the end of April.

EOF begins recruiting for the mentor program early in the fall. During this time, the program receives applications from potential mentors and mentees. EOF counselor, Edith Nelson, reviews and processes applications. She oversees and runs the Mentor Program. Mentors and mentees are required to complete an orientation that covers information about the program, purpose, expectations, do’s and don’ts, and goals. Once the mentorship is completed, EOF will assess mentors and mentees to determine the success of their experience and for programmatic quality assurance purposes.

Sergio Ozoria’s Journey of Self Discovery

Sergio Ozoria, now 21, will tell you that he enrolled in college not just for the degree but “in hopes of learning more about myself.” So far, mission accomplished.

Migrating to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic at the age of 14, he completed his last semester at Bronx Community College (BCC) in the Fall of 2017, with a degree in liberal arts, a GPA of 3.59 and membership in the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. But that doesn’t come close to describing the many opportunities he seized along the way that would contribute to his personal development.

BCC’s CLIP (CUNY Language Immersion Program) helped him become proficient in English. “CLIP gave me the confidence I needed to convey my thoughts and ideas publicly in English,” he says. While participating in CLIP he became involved in a career project with fellow students that helped him discover an interest in physical therapy and aspire to make that his career path.

Academically, he had struggled with math and biology. But thanks to tutoring provided by College Discovery, he overcame that challenge as well. Plus, it provided the financial assistance he needed to pay for books and school supplies.

As an LGBTQIA/Latinx student, at BCC Sergio was exposed to the kinds of positive social interactions, public debates and other activities that helped him become a proud advocate for social justice, especially on issues regarding disadvantaged LGBTQIA people of color.

“I think it is important for a college student to get involved on and off campus.” he says. As an example, through the Project Services to Assist Youth (Project STAY) program, run by Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, he does community outreach promoting health and wellness among groups at high risk for sexually transmitted diseases.

Since completing his BCC studies in Fall 2017, he is now preparing for his next step at a four-year college. He has already been accepted at New York University, Boston University, and Stony Brook University. He plans to major in a health, psychology or a related major and ultimately earn a PhD in physical therapy. “BCC enriched me with both academic and personal knowledge that has shaped my identities.”

In addition to Sergio’s career plans in physical therapy, he hopes to work with New York City public school ESL students with physical disabilities. His objective is to provide medical services, safe spaces, and/or rehabilitation for transgender people before, during and after their surgical transitioning process without fear of discrimination. Given his strong interests in physical therapy, public health, and health promotion, he seeks to create an inclusive atmosphere in the medical field for underserved and low-income communities.

Centenary University Study Abroad Experiences

The 2017-2018 school year has been extra special for four EOP students at Centenary University who participated in a Study Abroad program for experiential education. Their experiences forever changed them into mature global citizens who got to travel, explore foreign countries and historical landmarks, and understand and connect with new people. They all agreed that studying abroad taught them life lessons, gave them independence and the ability to make international friendships, and ultimately not only academic advancement but also cultural awareness.

Ameer CopperAmeer Copper, Class of 2018, attended Roehampton University in London, Fall 2017. Since he traveled to different countries, he loved meeting new people and found it refreshing to learn about their culture. The classes taught him the fundamentals of dance and photography. Copper found the experience gave him passion and motivation to perfect his craft as an artist. He states that, “The journey is just as great as the destination.” One of the aspects, he was impressed with was the efficiency of the public transportation. He finds that this experience taught him to be a less judgmental person. Back home, Copper has been enjoying keeping in touch with his friends from all over the world.

Eroldy DuvergeEroldy Duverge, Class of 2019, currently studying in London, has been experiencing the norm of a new culture granting him the opportunity to become more comfortable in a new surrounding where he has expanded his circle of friends from all over the world, including China, India and Sweden. He has been exploring and is truly appreciating the countless historic landmarks especially the London’s famous bridges and its history. Duverge is living by the following quote, “Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.”

Romane Jean-LouisRomane Jean-Louis, Class of 2018, spent the Fall of 2017 at Richmond University in Italy where he successfully completed 17 credits. Jean-Louis embraced the Italian culture and easily adapted to their lifestyle. Studying abroad allowed him to learn about himself and grasp the opportunities in front of him. Italy was breathtaking and he found Italians to be friendly when he attempted to speak their language. He learned that meals are usually two hours and Tiramisu is the best dessert ever. The most impactful experience he had in addition to academic gain, was being an intern for PIRENE SrL, a very well-known public relations and event planning company. He agrees that besides life lessons and networking, making international friends was on one of the greatest benefits from studying abroad.

Anna StroudAnna Stroud, Class of 2019, is currently studying in Italy and is fascinated with the history of the country. She particularly loved Piazzale Michelangelo, a lookout point in Florence where she realized how blessed and privileged she was to study abroad. Stroud has a great admiration for the Italian culture, the people, art and food. She has been adventurous enough to try the many different dishes Italy has to offer. The Italian history is impressive and the museums are incredible. She is happy that other countries are so easily accessible. So far, she has travelled to Switzerland, Greece and Paris. The study abroad experience has made Stroud more willing to take risks and put herself in uncomfortable situations. She believes that this experience has opened up new doors in her future career in business and fashion.

Centenary University is so proud to share the stories from these students!

Centenary University Internship Highlight

Tatiana Garcia
Tatiana at Walt Disney World in Florida.

In the summer and fall 2017, Tatiana Garcia, from Centenary University, participated in one of Disney World’s Internships, a comprehensive, experiential-learning opportunity giving her an unparalleled enhancement to her academic and professional career.

Garcia, an EOP student in her sophomore year at Centenary University claims that completing the internship was a life changing experience. She loved creating many magical lifelong memories. She particularly remembers a time when she met a young girl dressed as Cinderella. The young girl was interested in meeting Princess Elena of Avalor and Garcia happened to be there. The young girl used sign language to communicate with her family. Because Garcia has an understanding of sign language, she asked the young girl to see her extravagant shoes and complimented how beautiful they were using her sign language skills. Garcia states, “The expression of pure happiness on the young girl’s face is something I will never forget.”

Experiences like this have made an impact on Garcia in a positive way. Moving miles away from home to a different state all by herself made her grow up and be more independent; she learned to budget her money, shop for food, cook for herself and use public transportation – a big sense of responsibility. Another aspect she loved about this once in a lifetime opportunity was meeting really amazing people who came from different backgrounds and lived all over the country.

In addition to taking classes, Garcia worked six days a week but what made it all worth it was watching all the smiles on everyone’s faces when they saw the castle, met their favorite characters, and got a photo with one of the princesses. Working so hard, allowed her to save money for a trip to California to visit one of her Disney Internship roommates. Of course, one of her favorite perks was being able to hop from park to park for free.

During her downtime, she wrote in her journal about all the amazing experiences. Garcia is so grateful for the opportunity especially because Disney holds their employees to such high standards. After she graduates from Centenary University, Garcia plans to move to Florida with the goal to dance in various shows and parades and eventually move on to dancing on Disney Cruise lines. These internship opportunities, working side-by-side with industry leaders, have enhanced students’ college experience and has broaden their global scale of learning.

Centenary University is proud to share this story about Tatiana Garcia!