Michael Sparkie

SUNY Fredonia Liberty Partnerships Program Alumni

I graduated in 2013 from Olean High School. I was referred to the Fredonia Liberty Partnerships program by a school administrator.
After working with the summer STAR program in the Olean City School system this past summer through Liberty Partnerships, I was given the opportunity to continue in LPP. As a result, I am back at Olean High School working in the Fredonia Liberty Partnerships program as a Student Advocate.

During high school, some of my favorite activities with the program were things involving the theatre program. The Liberty Partnerships program gave me the opportunity to work as an AmeriCorps member assisting with theatre classes and activities.

Liberty Partnerships was a place where I learned things that aren’t normally taught in a school’s curriculum. I learned how to properly interact with other people and find a solid work ethic to keep up with assigned work. Liberty didn’t just teach me things, they also gave me the extra support I needed to get through the problems and stresses that I was facing while in high school. The educational awards for the four terms of AmeriCorps membership with LPP also helped me afford to get an Associate’s degree at Jamestown Community College and then to continue my education at the University of Pittsburg at Bradford.

I am proud of the person I have become. I’ve changed a lot because of Liberty Partnerships and it’s all for the better. I realize that there are a lot of different people to interact with who can help change the way you view and treat people. I am happy to have met the people I have and to have had the experiences that I have had through Liberty Partnerships. My advice for current students is not to be afraid to ask for help. There are more than enough people out there to help you when you need it but they can’t unless they know you need help. Once you get past the fear of asking for help your world gets a lot easier and better. Liberty Partnerships has made my life better.