Where Opportunity Meets Innovation: A Student-Centered Vision

The Office of the Secretary of Higher Education (OSHE) for New Jersey has published “A Student-Centered Vision for New Jersey Higher Education”. Visit the OSHE website to learn more.

This is the New Jersey State Plan for Higher Education that is dedicated to making higher education in the state more affordable and accessible for its residents.

Carl Heastie, New York State Assemblyman, Supports EOP

This video was recorded last week at the SUNY EOP Advocacy event in Albany, NY. The event was sponsored by United University Professions (UUP), the union which represents SUNY faculty and staff. The video features New York State Assemblyman Carl Heastie pledging his support for opportunity programs.

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.