SUNY Cortland Liberty Partnerships Program Alumni
When did you graduate high school, and which high school did you attend?
I went to Groton High School and I graduated in 2018.
What are you up to now?
I currently attend St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY. I am a double major in Criminology and Psychology as well as a First Generation Scholar meaning I am the first in my family to attend college! Every week I travel to the inner city of Rochester and volunteer my time to help young students complete their homework and improve their academic, emotional and social abilities. Other times, I volunteer with other students at events in Rochester, such as the Walk to End Alzheimers. I am also a student ambassador so I give tours of campus and talk to students interested in attending the college and an Orientation Leader where I help students coming to Fisher for their first year adjust to college. I intend to study abroad in Australia in spring 2021 and once I graduate I would like to be a behavior specialist or a criminal psychologist.
How did you get involved with Liberty Partnerships?
My brother was a member of Liberty Partnerships and brought me into Mr. Pratt’s office, the coordinator for Groton at the time, and I joined shortly after!
What are some of your favorite activities/programs that you did through Liberty Partnerships?
How could I choose just one? One of my favorite opportunities I enjoyed through Liberty Partnerships is the Empire Summit in Albany, New York where students in Liberty Partnerships all across New York State meet to attend workshops and participate in a weekend-long program that educates and strengthens leadership. This program increased my awareness and skills in leadership and I met peers that I still talk to today, with unique abilities, talents, and goals. Raquette Lake, the trips to Boston and Philadelphia brought students from each school together to learn, explore, attend college tours, and develop connections and memories that will last forever.
Describe how Liberty Partnerships shaped your life both in and out of the classroom.
Liberty Partnerships is one of the biggest reasons I am at college today. The program helped me whenever I didn’t understand a subject or needed more practice as well as provided me with peers, adults, and role models that made drastically positive impacts on my emotional and social life. When I broke my arm my junior year and couldn’t write, LPP helped me keep up with my academics, take the SAT, and recover. Programs such as the summer work program with Ms. Beck showed me how to make a cover letter, resume, how to present, and research colleges and degrees. Activities such as going to Albany to talk to Senator Seward about funding, introduced me to connections and opportunities I would not have had if it weren’t for the program. Liberty Partnerships taught me how to be a leader, not in the sense that I was above anybody, but that my unique skills, strengths, and abilities can be used to help and inspire others.
What are you most proud of?
I am most proud of being the first in my family to attend college and holding a 4.0!
What advice do you have for current students?
My biggest advice is to step outside of your comfort zone! Growth begins the second you step across the boundary of your comfort zone. Prior to Liberty Partnerships, I was scared of being in the spotlight and being uncomfortable, but going to leadership conventions and all the activities through Liberty Partnerships allowed me to step outside of my shell and become confident in my skills and abilities. I would not be who I am or be involved in everything at college that I am today if I hadn’t taken the first step. My second piece of advice is to get involved, which requires stepping outside of your comfort zone. Take on opportunities that come to you because they will change your life and help you find your passions, strengths, weaknesses and introduce you to amazing people and experiences. Take it from me when I say that anything is possible as long as you’re willing to be vulnerable and take the first step!