A year after graduation, Terri worked for EOP as an admissions coordinator/administrative assistant while working on her MBA at Baruch College, Zicklin Schools of Business. After earing her MBA, she worked in the corporate world where she specialized in client relations and digital marketing. Terri is currently part owner and Marketing Director for Creators Media Group, an advertising agency specializing in broadcast commercials and digital media.
"Being part of the EOP program was like having a second support group outside my family, which set me at a great advantage compared to most of my peers. The EOP staff was critical to my success as both a student and a professional. Even to this day, I maintain both a professional and personal relationship wiht the EOP staff."
Terri Fajardo Sociology '02
I entered Purchase College through EOP in 1996 with one goal in mind, to earn a degree. The first two years were the toughest years that I endured as a college student. After being on probation for the first time in my academic career in my sophomore year, I turned to the EOP staff for support and guidance. Through hard work, dedication and the support of EOP, I made it and was proud of being the first in my family to earn a Bachelor's Degree. I went on to graduate school and earned a Master's Degree in 2004 in Communications Management. I am currently the Assistant Dean at Manhattanville College where I stress the importance of education and utilize the same principles that I learned as an EOP graduate.
I was fortunate to be able to have the opportunity to attend college given the hand I was dealt in high school. I could have made many excuses for reasons to drop out or take semesters off, etc. The commitment of the EOP staff at Purchase, the goal, the vision and what EOP stands for are the reasons why I completed college. With respect and admiration for the Purchase College staff, I will always be proud to say I am an EOP graduate.
Antonio Santiago Liberal Arts, '00
I am a proud Purchase College EOP Alum. I graduated with a BA in Political Science, class of ’98. After graduation, I worked as a paralegal while applying to law school. In 1999, I started my legal education at the University at Buffalo Law School and completed it in 2002 at Brooklyn Law School where I earned my Juris Doctorate degree. I was admitted to the NYS Bar Association in April 2003.
In July 2003, I, along with a business partner, opened a firm in the Bronx. In October 2006, I launched the law offices of Naomi Silie, PC, where I currently practice real estate law, corporate law and landlord tenant law, among other areas.
EOP was a key contributing factor to my success because it gave me the support, structure and confidence I needed to succeed. I am living proof that some students just need a little push and assistance to get ahead. Thank you EOP!
Political Science '98
I graduated from Purchase College in 2000 and received a Bachelor of Science degree. My major was biology with a minor in chemistry. After Purchase College, in 2001 - 2003, I went on to study biology at New York University and later on pursued a career in medicine. Currently, I am a third year medical student engaged in clinical rotations at North Eastern Ohio University’s College of Medicine. My expected date of graduation from NEOUCOM is May 2008, when my dream of becoming a medical doctor will finally be realized.
I honestly feel that without the EOP program at SUNY Purchase, I would have never had the opportunity to go to college. The EOP program at Purchase gave me an opportunity of a lifetime. I was given a chance to receive a college degree, which in return opened many doors for me later down the road when I began to pursue a career in medicine. The EOP staff became my family away from home. In a time where you are: forced to take on greater responsibilities, trying to decide what to be when you grow up, dealing with obstacles of being a student and becoming an adult EOP was very instrumental in helping me grow into the person I am today. I am grateful for their guidance, support, encouragement but most of all for always believing in me and never allowing me to give up. Even though I graduated from Purchase a few years ago, they continue to be a part of my life.
Gina Joanne Oviedo
After graduating from Purchase College in 2004, I returned to Brooklyn and was employed in the Social Services/Non-Profit sector with various agencies that serviced homeless youths as well as high school teens in New York City. In June 2005, I began the Teaching Fellows program as an Elementary Special Education teacher and entered a dual Masters in Education program at Brooklyn College, where I am currently studying Childhood Education and Special Education. I'm now working on my thesis and will be graduating summa cum laude in June 2007. Completing a senior project at PC certainly prepared me well enough to tackle a graduate level thesis, and to that I am beyond grateful.
With regards to how the EOP/MAP program helped me, I'll say this- I would not be as successful as I am presently if it was not for Purchase College. Technically, I was a "high school dropout" and was written off by my family and teachers as a waste of intelligence and talent. Without EOP/MAP staff members to believe in me and encourage my success I would not have had the courage to enter the field of teaching. As I hold the responsibility for the education of children in my hands, I cannot help but remember the continued support, mentoring, guidance, and generous advice I was given by these staff members which led me to my present career. I believe that programs like EOP and MAP provide students with the opportunity to realize their potential in an environment which fosters learning through quality mentoring and sincere concern for the individual. Thank you!
The EOP program provided a family for me when I was embarking on a new phase in my life. Not only did I get financial assistance, but there was also a bond that developed between us. I was so blessed to grow up in such a nurturing and caring environment. I now believe that I can do anything because when others said I couldn’t, the EOP Family ALWAYS told me I would. I am forever grateful to this program and particularly the Purchase College EOP family.
I graduated from Purchase in May of 2000 with a Bachelors Degree in Sociology. I have worked in the area of Human Resources since graduating and currently work for New York University. I joined the EOP program in the summer of 1995 and instantly felt that I had a new extended family. The EOP family has inspired me to push myself to where I am today.
Last summer I attended an EOP orientation session along with several other EOP graduates. The graduates were asked to speak about their experience with the EOP program. One thing I noticed was that everyone was either attending graduate school or had completed their graduate degree. I felt very proud to be amongst such a successful group of people. Until that point, I had contemplated going to graduate school but always found an excuse. I would say to myself "I am not ready" or "Its too expensive" or "I haven’t researched enough". What I was really saying was that I was scared of being challenged. After hearing the fellow EOP graduates speak about their experiences I truly felt inspired. I went home that Sunday and immediately started looking into Masters programs. It was already kind of late to apply for a graduate program but I thought to myself "I might as well apply, what's the worst that can happen?” I guess I was really preparing myself for the worse. Two weeks after I submitted my application I was accepted into NYU's Masters in Human Resources Program. For this I want to thank the EOP counselors and my fellow EOP graduates for giving me the inspiration to keep going forward. Thank you all. Much love!
After graduating Purchase College in 2000, I applied my newfound knowledge of literature and art, and started my career in the field of marketing. After a few short years, my thirst for higher education grew and I decided to go back to school for my masters degree. In 2005, I obtained my MBA from Long Island University and decided to embark on a new journey.
I moved away from all of my family and friends to Tampa, Florida for the opportunity to work for a national comprehensive cancer center. In my current position as Lead Web Systems Analyst for the center, I lead a team of web developers in building web applications for the entire organization.
What EOP means to me … I can honestly say that I owe most of my success to the EOP program of Purchase College. EOP not only gave me the opportunity to attend college, but they guided me throughout all of my undergraduate years and beyond. The advisors were ALWAYS there for me; no problem was ever too big or too small.
EOP holds a special place in my heart. It is refreshing to know that in this world of ever-changing turmoil that there are still people out there that care, and are willing to give others a chance.
THANK YOU! I love you guys!
Literature/Art History '00
I graduated from Purchase College in 1998 with my degree in Psychology. The EOP family helped me in my times of distress and was also there when times were good. The staff always had their doors open for the students to come in and talk. The program helped me remain focused and kept wanting me to complete my education on time.
Currently, I work as a Special Education teacher in Brooklyn. In my line of duty, I continuously encourage my students to further their education and I tell them about programs such as EOP as a way of getting into college with financial assistance, guidance, and to give opportunities to students who are academically at a disadvantage.
EOP at Purchase College helped by giving me the opportunity to attend college and succeed in a diverse college setting. I had the great privilege of working with and learning from people from all walks of life. EOP has a good support system of people who care and are willing to work with you to help you excel. This has translated into the profession I'm in, law enforcement. I am an officer with the NYPD and every day I have to communicate with people from various backgrounds. Thanks to the Educational Opportunity Program, I can do my job with ease and comfort. I'm proud to be an EOP graduate from Purchase College, SUNY!
Since graduating from Purchase College, I have worked as a medical assistant for Planned Parenthood, a case manager for disabled youths and adults, a social worker for children with State mandated cases, and an admissions counselor for Purchase College. I am in the process of completing my masters in Public health. I hope to use my educational training to combine the public health needs and clinical needs of our communities.
EOP provided me with the ability to have a network, a family away from home that not only helped with counseling but helped in academic advising, planning, etc. that led to the larger goal: GRADUATION!
I graduated from Purchase College in 1996 with a BA in Literature. Right after graduation, with the help of the Purchase employment recruiting program, I was employed by Penguin Publishing as a sales coordinator. Since then I have moved on to be a sales manager of the AOL Black Voices team.
The EOP program helped my transition from home to college. EOP helped me financially and emotionally as well. During my last year of college I didnt think I would be able to finish my thesis. The EOP staff was constantly encouraging me. They were an inspiration to me that final year. The EOP program helped me foster relationships that I still maintain to this day. I have formed life-long bonds with people as the result of this experience and opportunity.
Deveter Lane Brown
I graduated with a BA in Sociology and then went on to earn my masters in Education. I am currently working back at Purchase College as a Residence Coordinator.
The EOP program helped me immensely throughout my college years. From the moment I stepped on campus the program supported me in all my endeavors and pushed me to undertake projects I would have never imagined. Through it all, the part of the program that impacted me the most was the interaction with the counselors. No matter what you are experiencing, success or failure, the counselors are there for you. It is the sincerity and selflessness of the staff that makes EOP unique.
EOP helped me the entire span of my college career. They were always there to advise, even something as simple as giving me guidance about what to do with my life after Purchase! Because of EOP I was able to go to Spain in the study abroad program. I was also able to take a summer internship at Georgetown University's Law Center.
The EOP staff believed in me and because of this I believed in myself. I was able to graduate and move on to now make a difference in other people's lives through the tool of education.
I am a social worker for children in foster care. I love my job; I help the children with educational needs and family functioning skills. My future plans are to become an urban planner or counselor for children at risk.
EOP helped me because they never gave up on me. They taught me how to be responsible for myself and how to make better academic decisions. EOP was and continues to be my family away from home. EOP is an elite group, not everyone gets in. EOP was a big reason of why I graduated, they pushed me to the academic limit yet I always felt welcome and loved. I want the new additions in EOP to know that they are part of something greater than themselves, we all stand together!
Liberal Studies, '03
"If you believe in something beautiful, get up and be it."
I was admitted to Teacher's College, Columbia University for an M.Ed/PhD in the International and Transcultural studies program, with a specialization in Anthropology and Education. I still realize to this day the incredible impact that Purchase College, especially the opportunity presented by the EOP/MAP Program has and continues to provide for me. Without EOP/MAP I would not have had the prospect of a college education and now I am about to be welcomed into one of the most selective and preeminent education programs in the world.
I am proud to say that it is the strength of education from Purchase College that has bolstered my probability of getting into the M.Ed and PhD programs of my choosing. Thank you for seeing the potential in me and seeing to my educational needs.
Justin Geer Anthropology, '05