Mount HEOP freshmen complete summer training program
August 07, 2017
NEWBURGH, N.Y. -
Well in advance of the coming Fall 2017 semester, six incoming
freshmen recently got a jumpstart on their Mount Saint Mary College
The students, part of the college’s Higher Education Opportunity
Program (HEOP), participated in the Mount’s Summer Academic
Institute, an intensive five-week residency program. The institute
focuses on preparing HEOP students for college life through
academic and leadership training, acclimation with academic
resources, one-on-one tutoring, and the opportunity to earn four
college credits prior to their fall semester.
The students, affectionately referred to as “The Six” by the
HEOP staff, took classes in writing, math, computer science, and
the liberal arts; participated in a pre-freshman forum which taught
study skills and instilled the timeliness, humility, and leadership
qualities necessary for academic success; and participated in team
building exercises including hiking Mount Beacon together.
Christian Lorenzo of Park Hill, N.Y. explained that the group
grew to treat one another like family.
The program “molded all of us to be better individually,
academically, and socially,” he revealed. “We had a slogan
throughout the five weeks – if it’s not about ‘The Six,’ there’s
something we have to fix.”
Oscar Carrasco of Hunts Point, N.Y., who was named HEOP Class of
2021 Representative, recounted the hard work he and his fellow
peers had to put in to complete their classes.
“We would be in the library from 5 to 12 every night, which
really prepared us for the fall, since that’s what you have to do
in college,” he said. He added that the HEOP staff encouraged the
students to “always be yourself, stay humble, and remember where
you’re from” throughout their time at the Mount.
Lorenzo echoed this sentiment, noting that they were motivated
to work hard and make their families proud.
At the closing ceremony, Harmony Cross, Mount HEOP director,
praised the students for a job well done.
“The purpose of such a rigorous summer program is to prepare
these students for the demanding schedule they will face at the
Mount,” she explained. “I am extremely proud of each of ‘The
Orin Strauchler, assistant dean of Student Support Services and
director of counseling at the Mount, noted that although this
program was only the first of many challenges they will face, the
students had reached a milestone.
“This was the first big test as a college student, and you all
passed with flying colors,” he said
The scholars will have the opportunity to rest for a few weeks
before returning to begin classes on August 28.
For Lorenzo, he’s already thinking ahead to graduation.
“Think long term when things get hard,” he said to fellow
participants. “We’ll all be smiling at the end when we walk across
that stage and get our diplomas.”
Harmony Cross, director of HEOP at Mount Saint Mary College
(right), commends the HEOP Class of 2021 on their accomplishments
during the Mount’s Summer Academic Institute.