February 10, 2015 |

Fatima Ali

Danielle Izzo-Buckner, my advisor, was as constant source of motivation for me during my time in the program. Moreover, her academic background in English served as an inspiration to me and allowed me to discuss prospective career and educational paths with her prior to transferring to Queens College. Although I did not continue with English in my graduate studies, the guidance I received from my advisor and ASAP directly impacted my choice of a professional career.


I realized that in order for students to be successful in college, they require holistic support—emotional, professional, academic, and financial. Students attending community colleges often lack such forms of support in one way or another. In light of my experiences in ASAP, I chose to study higher education with the intention of later becoming an academic advisor working with two-year college students as well as the transfer population on four-year campuses. Having now belonged to both groups and studied their challenges, I am familiar with their needs. Furthermore, the support I received from my advisor illustrated the instrumental role that I could have in a student’s educational ventures.


Although I graduated from ASAP five years ago, the guidance I and my peers received from our ASAP advisors inspired me to seek employment at a two-year college. I had a strong desire to assist at-risk students and believed that becoming a recruitment associate with CUNY Start would provide valuable insight into the numerous ways higher education professionals can create an encouraging environment for a unique community college population. I view this position as a vital stepping stone in preparation for eventually working as an academic advisor with two-year college students. So far, I have interacted with students from a multitude of academic, social, and cultural backgrounds. I am happy to say that I am learning day-by-day from my colleagues how to best support these individuals as they seek to better prepare themselves for their college education.