Vanessa Pereira

Buffalo State Liberty Partnerships Program Alumni

When did you graduate high school, and which high school did you attend?
I graduated from McKinley H.S in Buffalo NY in 2009.

What are you up to now?
In May I graduated from Canisius College with my master’s degree in School Counseling. I have been a Program Counselor with LPP Buffalo State College for 4 years and I love everything about it! I love what LPP stands for, and I love that I get to be a mentor and counselor for students just like me!

How did you get involved with Liberty Partnerships?
I got involved with LPP starting my freshman year in high school. My Aquatic Ecology teacher at the time was heavily involved with LPP and pushed me to try LPP out. It was the best move I made. Coming from the City of Buffalo made it difficult to experience things outside of my comfort zone. LPP made it possible for me to step outside the box and find out who I was. If it wasn’t for LPP I would have never went away and experienced the true authentic college experience.

What are some of your favorite activities/programs that you did through Liberty Partnerships?
My favorite activities were the college visits! One of those being Finger Lakes Community College in Canandaigua. I fell in love with this school and had the best 2 years of my life. We also visited colleges such as Cornell, which made me realize the world was bigger than just Buffalo. I also am thankful for the help I received with my college applications and of course the tutoring services. We also had the opportunity to do a lot of outdoor activities which was awesome.

Describe how Liberty partnerships shaped your life both in and out of classroom?
LPP is like no other. While everyone else struggled in school, I was able to seek out tutoring services. While everyone else was stuck in their comfort zone, LPP pushed me to look beyond that. It provided me with a mentor and counselor who believed in me. I later transferred to Buffalo State College and worked as a tutor for LPP. I struggled at BSC trying to figure out the path I wanted to take in my life. Still through it all, LPP was present for me as a college student. It led me on a path to find myself. After completing my bachelors, I took a year off. LPP still supported me and a year later I found myself back in the LPP office. Only this time pushing students like myself to be successful.

What are you most proud of?
I am most proud of the woman I have become and the way LPP helped shape me. I am most proud that no matter what trials and tribulations crossed my path I stuck through it all, with so much support! I am proud to represent LPP. I am proud to take this journey with LPP as we become better every year. I am proud to tell my students that no matter what, I am here to support them, motivate them and advocate for them.

What advice do you have for current students?
I would say believe in yourself! Remember that someone out their believes in you, so do not push those people away. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from, or what you look like. There is a place in this world for you. When you have programs such as LPP, take advantage of them. You and only you control your future. So, when you take control of it, and work hard towards it, no one can take that away from you.