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New York Institute of Technology’s Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) is a comprehensive program, jointly sponsored with the state of New York, to assist in providing access for all New Yorkers to the state’s private colleges and universities. The Arthur O. Eve HEOP was established in 1969 by the New York State Legislature (Section 6451 and 6452 of the Education Law). The Higher Education Opportunity Program has been in existence at New York Institute of Technology since 1970.
Arthur O. Eve HEOP helps assist students who, because of financial and academic hardships, would otherwise be unable to earn a college degree. An important part of NYIT's mission is to provide educational opportunity to all qualified students, and Arthur O. Eve HEOP helps to make that possible.
Depending on your needs and circumstances, the program can offer you financial assistance for tuition, books, transportation, and some personal expenses. In addition, you will receive academic and personal counseling, study skills training, tutoring, and career counseling from NYIT student services professionals.
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Recently the Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Program (HEOP) introduced a service component into the pre-freshman summer program. While the summer program itself is designed to prepare the freshmen for college level work, the service component hopes to prepare them for a long term commitment to community service and giving back. This summer the students took part in two service trips. One of these trips involved Assemblyman Marcos Crespo who was recently inducted into NYIT’s Zeta Lambda chapter of Chi Alpha Epsilon (XAE). The HEOP freshman, program staff, and current members of XAE made their way to the Soundview section of the Bronx on Wednesday, August 6th to help the Assemblyman and his staff with various community enhancement projects. The primary task was to post “curb your dog” signs around the neighborhood that was greatly in need of them. The Assemblyman explained that this was a big complaint in the neighborhood. Volunteers also helped to change overflowing garbage cans in the community and talked with local small business owners about their concerns. Many residents were very enthusiastic about the new signs, hoping that it would encourage their community members to pick up after their pets. The students burned some calories, got some sun, and even ended up on News Channel 12!
During the summer, Arthur O. Eve HEOP freshmen spend five weeks attending classes at the NYIT Manhattan campus and engaging in cultural activities. For the second year in a row, their schedule has also made room for community service. On Aug. 1, 2014, the freshmen of the HEOP Summer Program ventured outside the walls of NYIT to serve some Manhattan residents in need of assistance. Their trek from Columbus Circle led the group to the Carter Burden Luncheon Club & Senior Program, located on E. 74th St. Arranged through NYIT’s Community Service Center, the HEOP students, tutors, and staff participated in Carter Burden’s Meals-on-Heels program, delivering hot lunches to homebound seniors living in the area. The group divided up into smaller teams, each equipped with a map, list of deliveries, and bags of hot and cold meal packs freshly prepared in the center’s kitchen. The day proved to be both educational and entertaining. After making their rounds, the teams reunited and began swapping stories of different residents along their routes. One team bragged of meeting a woman eager to tell them about her advanced age. Another team found a gentleman who, upon hearing that they were college students, proudly offered his services as a math tutor since he was a retired mathematics professor. The experience was a good one for all involved. The students showed genuine dedication to the task at hand after realizing how many of the seniors visited would have been unable to reach the Luncheon Club in person due to mobility issues. Several even expressed interest in returning to Carter Burden to volunteer again in the future. They were happy to participate in a community service activity that benefited so many individuals.
On Tues., July 1st, the incoming Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) freshmen were welcomed by a panel of HEOP alumni and current students who took time out of their busy day to share some valuable advice. For two of the panelists, it was actually their second time sharing their insights with a group of incoming HEOP students. Javier Saldana, (B.S., Interdisciplinary Studies, ’03) first participated two years ago. He is currently a Career Counselor/Employment Specialist for the Division of Continuing Education and Workforce Development at Hostos Community College at the City University of New York. Javier is also a shining example of the impact HEOP leaves behind long after graduation. Javier’s gratitude towards the program is evident - any time he is called upon to give back he finds a way to make it happen. It was also Oshane Cooke’s second time participating in the panel. Oshane is expected to graduate this upcoming December with a B.S. in Advertising.
With a larger amount of incoming freshmen majoring in Architecture than in recent years, the students seemed truly appreciative of the advice and stories that alumna Marilyn Encalada (B.Arch., Architecture, ’13) had to share. She told the students that while Architecture can indeed be an extremely challenging and demanding major, if she could do it despite the obstacles that arose along the way, so could they.
HEOP alumna and current M.B. A. student Ting Ting Mei (B.P.S., Hospitality Studies, ’13) held everyone’s attention when she described how HEOP helped her transition from a nervous, slightly self-conscious, and virtually silent student to the gregarious, inspiring, and confident young woman she is today. Ting Ting is currently funding her studies in the Masters of Business Admiration program here at NYIT through two graduate assistantships.
Current student Leroy Solis really got the students involved and engaged, at one point having all the freshmen recite after him in unison the phrase, “Whatever it takes, I will do.” Leroy is the definition of perseverance. After leaving school to care for his terminally ill mother, he found many obstacles in his path to finishing his education. Despite these roadblocks and with the help of his HEOP family, Leroy is now back on the path to obtaining his B.A. in Accounting in 2015, boasting an impressive G.P.A. of 4.0 in his first semester back!
Alumnus Pedro Vazquez (B.S., Electrical & Computer Engineering, ’12) discussed how HEOP, like any other supportive family, will help you to become a better person. Pedro currently works as a Media Services Technician for the Information Technology and Infrastructure Media Services Department of New York Institute of Technology.
Soon to be graduate Krystal Dean shared her struggles of overcoming the life obstacles that can occur during a college career. She reminded students that no matter what obstacles life throws at them, they have an invaluable support system in HEOP and NYIT and should never hesitate to use that support. Krystal will be graduating with her B.S. in Behavioral Science in 2015.
One piece of advice that every panelist shared was to utilize and seek advice from your “HEOP family”. The members of this panel knew from experience that their goals may have been unreachable without the support of family, friends, and HEOP. They reminded the freshmen that HEOP is not just a support program but a support system, that when fully utilized will help propel them to their dreams. Special thanks to the alumni and current students who took time from their busy schedules to share their advice and experience with these incoming freshmen. You are the proof that HEOP works, and we thank you for helping to keep it working for future generations of students.