A graduation celebration and awards ceremony was held May 2 to highlight the accomplishments of students participating in the Niagara University Opportunity Program.
Receiving the NUOP Highest GPA Award was Akeva Bolt, a criminology and criminal justice major who has been accepted at SUNY Albany to pursue graduate degrees in criminal justice and social work.
Enuel Caraballo was presented with the NUOP Constance E. Mathews Character and Leadership Award. Caraballo will teach fifth grade next year in the Culpeper County Public School District (Virginia). He also received teaching job offers from the Aldine Independent School District (Texas), Kansas City School District and Teach for America in Oklahoma.
The NUOP Rising Eagle Award went to Joi-Alexis Johnson, a freshman enrolled in NU’s Academic Exploration Program.
In addition, Connie Mathews was given an award of appreciation for serving in the NUOP Office for 36 years.
Other notable achievements by NUOP seniors:
- Shoney’c Davis accepted a full-time position as a residential counselor with the DePaul Senior Living Community in Rochester, N.Y.
- Dema Isa, following an internship with Empower (formerly Niagara Cerebral Palsy), was offered a job in the organization’s drug rehab counseling program. Isa plans to pursue a graduate degree as well.
- Kolbe Phelps has been accepted into Suffolk University’s graduate program in public administration, with plans to pursue a career in healthcare administration.
- Tabita Saraj has received acceptance into eight law schools.
- Raphael Torres is enrolled in Niagara’s graduate program in criminal justice administration, and will join the Niagara County Law Enforcement Academy in the fall.
- Mayra Urruita plans to attend Adelphi University in Manhattan to earn an M.S.W.
- Tavion Williams will serve as an educator for after-school programs and volunteer with the New York City Department of Housing in its youth urban agriculture programs. His future plans include working in Malawi as a Peace Corps volunteer in June 2018.
The ultimate goal of NUOP is to make higher education possible for students who are academically underprepared and/or economically disadvantaged. NUOP is funded jointly by the university and the New York State Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP).
For more information on the Niagara University Opportunity Program, please visit www.niagara.edu/nuop.