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May 16, 2014 |

2013 BMCC ASAP Leadership Team Member

With just $5,000 in my pocket and ten years of job experiences, I saw myself well on my way to making it in the land of opportunity. So I migrated from Jamaica with a 3-year-old and an unborn son with the intention to start school in August 2011. Just two weeks after I got here I was accepted into college.

 

However, I was in for a big surprise. I couldn’t start school because of family issues, and not having anyone to advise me accordingly, I stayed home for the entire semester. After I had my baby in November, I was determined to get the ball rolling again and made sure that when January came I was ready to start school. But challenges kept setting me back. Now it wasn’t family issues. It was my tuition. With no one to assist me and my funds running low, I had to go back to Jamaica and get more money for my tuition, books, and transportation.

I made $500 down-payment toward my tuition and went to Jamaica for the rest of money.  When I came back to the United States and started reading on the school website I saw information about FAFSA, TAP, etc., and so I applied and qualified for FAFSA but not for TAP. I was happy nonetheless, even though I had to spend over $700 on books.

 

Determined and dedicated to anything I put my mind to, I continued on my journey even when I only had $10 in my pocket. About two months after I started school, I passed an office and out of curiosity I decided to inquire inside about what they were about—and when I was told about the free books, MetroCards, advisors, the career specialist, and other goodies I thought, “This is not for real. What do they want back from me? There must be a catch to all of this.” However, I was told to go online and schedule an appointment for an information session because I qualified for the program. Can I tell you that even if I’d had $5,000 in my pocket, nothing could have made me happier.

 

I have been so blessed to have such a warm family in ASAP to depend on at all times. For me, ASAP is not just about the free perks. One thing that I can attest to is the importance of having that special person in your life who cares about you and your progress in school, and when things are not right she can help you to get things straightened out. The ASAP advisors are there to listen to you and to be a shoulder you can cry on.  And those are just a few of the reasons the advisors are priceless.  You can never pay someone to care about you that much.

 

Thanks to my extended family at BMCC ASAP for helping me to persist despite all my adversities and for helping me financially to complete my associate degree in one-and-a-half years, making it possible for me to transfer to John Jay to do my BA/MA in economics and forensic accounting.

 

With ASAP I am able to enroll, encourage, and enlighten other students who are in a similar position as I was and to let them know that as long they are committed and believe in themselves, after they start at ASAP, they can go anywhere.