CUNY COPE Office
555 West 57th Street, 10th and 13th Floor
New York, New York, 10019
MB, a single parent of 2 small children, is pursuing a degree in Computer Operations at Borough of Manhattan Community College. She was helped by COPE when childcare problems threatened her ability to attend her college classes. MB won the Model Scholar Award at the 4th Annual COPE Symposium and states that without the help, encouragement, guidance and support that she received from COPE, she would not have been successful.
WC is a widowed parent of a little boy. Although she had previous work experience, she wanted a college degree and enrolled at Borough of Manhattan Community College. While in college, she worked as an intern with the COPE employment team and soon initiated her own job search. She secured a full-time position with CUNY and graduated in May 2005. WC says she truly has made “lemonade out of lemons.”
TA majored in Human Services and graduated from Bronx Community College in June 2006 with a 3.1 GPA. He currently works at 311.
DC currently attends Bronx Community College and majors in Human Services. She works as a tutor and has a 3.9 GPA. She expects to graduate in January 2009 and to begin pursuing her professional career.
After leaving Long Island and a bad relationship, ML came to the College of Staten Island in the Spring 2007 semester. She made her decision to go back to school while working part time and taking care of her baby. She had no friends or relatives on Staten Island. ML traded her old life for motherhood and education. She is pursuing a business degree with the hope of opening a club for children that would promote bonding with their parents. Her GPA is 3.8 and her other accomplishments include organizing a beach clean up with fellow COPE students and coordinating a program at Staten Island’s Blue Heron Center, where children build arts and crafts projects to send to the soldiers overseas. Lastly, ML plays a major role at the College of Staten Island: she is very helpful and never hesitates to assist new students.
My name is FP, Jr., the son of a Dominican mother and Puerto Rican father. I would like to start by stating that I had no idea I would attend the same college my mother did, Hostos Community College. That’s a coincidence that I would never forget. I have seven children of my own, five girls and two boys, whom I love very much. Being a father to so many children seemed like a challenge to me at first, but with some focus and determination, this encouraged me to become a good role model to my kids. You could imagine how excited my mother was when I told her I’m attending the same college she did.
Upon attending Hostos Community College, I received great instruction in my classes, which encouraged me even further and gave me the feeling that I can accomplish the great task of completing my studies. The COPE Program is another great program that assisted my family with our public assistance case and made going to school a more stress free experience. COPE has helped me by providing job search assistance, completing forms for public assistance and referring me to Edith’s Place and Career Gear to get professional attire to go to job interviews at no cost to me.
I have completed all requirements to graduate from Hostos Community College and will be graduating in June 2008 with a 3.2 GPA. In addition, I am working full time at Mc Donald’s overnight, while also doing job search with the COPE Program at Hostos Community College in order to get a better job to support my family. My duties are many, but my hopes and dreams keep me going day in and day out. I encourage anyone and everyone out there to never give up on themselves, and I wish them good luck with their success. I am proud of all my accomplishments because besides all the struggles, I know I am setting the type of example I want my children to follow. Thank you for this opportunity to share my life experience with you.
MM is a single parent and a John Jay College of Criminal Justice graduate with a degree in Deviant Behavior and Social Control. She now works in Dispute Resolution and no longer needs public assistance.
IA thought that she was too old to return to school. While caring for her 2 teenage children, she obtained her degree at Kingsborough Community College with a Physical Therapy major. IA graduated with honors and quickly found a job through her internship. She now works full time at a rehabilitation facility and receives medical benefits.
AA, born and raised in the Dominican Republic, came to the U.S. in 1985 in pursuit of a better life. Despite the language barrier and financial hardship, she was determined to change her circumstances. She utilized the COPE program services and enrolled at LaGuardia Community College where she obtained an AA in Human Services. Job placement led her to a paraprofessional position that enabled her to become economically stable. AA states, “COPE is supportive. They helped me to move forward and achieve my goals. I’m satisfied with how my life is progressing.” She attributes much of her success to the genuine support she received from COPE!
FW serves as a model of success. She received an Associate in Public Administration from Medgar Evers College. While a student, she was hired by the National Urban League and has been employed by them for the past 7 years. She has moved up the ranks at her job; starting as a clerk, she is currently an assistant to a department chair. FW continues to give back to Medgar alumni and often gives motivational lectures. Despite recent health concerns, she continues to be an inspiration to all, including her three children and one grandchild.
AT is a 23-year-old who at the age of 18 was on the road to self-destruction and subsequently was incarcerated for the wrong choices she made along the way. AT was not only exposed to violence, but also homelessness and then the challenges she encountered upon reintegrating herself into society.
“After given a second chance, I took full advantage of my new lease on life. Laboring to fulfill my requirements to be a free woman, I was given a second chance to start over. Someone saw through my mask and was determined to break the façade and direct me to the independent path of life. With gratitude, from that day on, I have taken full advantage of all the positive opportunities that have presented. Refusing to let society determine my fate, I enrolled at New York City College of Technology in the fall of 2005 with the aspiration of becoming a Radiology Technician. After dissecting a pig, however, I realized that being in the medical field was not for me. I soon discovered my passion for numbers and I am proud to state that I have maintained a 3.0 GPA and expect to graduate in 2009. The COPE Program has been an integral part of my success. Thank you, COPE, for believing in me.” -AT
AT has certainly persevered beyond the street violence that plagued her and threatened to end her future. She is currently on the Dean’s List and holds a 3.0 GPA while pursuing her degree in Accounting at New York City College of Technology. Thanks to the valuable assistance the COPE Program provides for her, AT is actively and successfully pursuing her dreams of becoming a successful accountant.
Coming to the United States from Guyana while in high school, MH left behind family and friends to pursue her academic endeavors. She finished high school, began her college career, but a life-altering event forced her to change her major. MH turned her goals to Queensborough Community College and a nursing degree. As a single parent, she balanced a very difficult academic program and a son to whom she refers to as “the most important aspect of her life.” MH was on the Dean’s List and maintained a 3.8 GPA for most of her college career. She graduated with a degree in Nursing in January 2007. She currently works as a nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center.