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Eastern Celebrates Hartford, New Haven Promise Scholars

Published on November 13, 2019

Eastern Celebrates Hartford, New Haven Promise Scholars

Hartford Promise Scholars.

Eastern Connecticut State University’s Office of Continuing Studies and Enhanced Learning (CSEL) held a reception for Promise Scholar recipients on Nov. 13 in the Fine Arts Instructional Center. With a welcoming address from President Elsa Núñez, the reception served as an opportunity for Promise Scholars to get acquainted with each other, become familiar with campus resources and be recognized for receiving the scholarship.

“The last time I received advice from my mother, she said to me, ‘Finish your education. If you must stop and work to pay for it, whatever you have to do… make sure you finish your education,’” said Indira Petoskey, assistant dean of CSEL, in discussing the importance of keeping a promise and how it can change the course of your life for the better. Petoskey concluded her remarks by encouraging our Promise Scholars to “stay focused and graduate. If you can make a promise to yourself and keep it, you can accomplish any dream.”

Promise Scholars are recipients of scholarships that provide Hartford and New Haven students with the financial resources, support services and key relationships that lead to college success. To become a Promise Scholar, students must reside in Hartford or New Haven, attend a public school in either city for all four years of high school, have a 90 percent attendance record or better and have at least a 3.0 GPA. Eastern has partnered with both organizations and provides $5,000 in matching scholarships to each New Haven and Hartford Promise scholar, in addition to any need-based financial aid they receive.

“The best support system you have is each other,” said Eastern President Elsa Núñez. “These are the people you rely on, the people you confide in, the people you turn to when you’re happy, sad or even desperate. The point of today is to let you know that the resources are here for you. Your success is our success and we’re vested in you. You promised to come here and do all you could to graduate and we promise to do all we can to help you.”

Two crucial campus resources discussed throughout the evening were the Office of Financial Aid and the Center for Internships and Career Development (CICD). The Office of Financial Aid provides current and prospective students with financial aid information, guidance and assistance to pursue a college education, while the CICD supports students’ career journeys by offering career fairs, professional training, networking events and internship connections.

New Haven Promise Scholars.

One of the many initiatives CSEL offers are University Opportunity Programs (UOPs). UOPs are high-impact success programs and services for students from disadvantaged populations, students who are academically under-prepared, first-generation, from low-income families, undocumented or in high school. Those programs include “Higher Edge,” “Promise Scholars,” “STEPCAP,” DREAM.US and more.

“UOP helps to connect students with faculty and staff from similar backgrounds who can relate to them,” said Maribel Sanchez ’04, UOP specialist. Sanchez explained the steps that are in place to help UOP students, including making sure they have a good GPA, taking the right amount of credits and being aware of all the resources that are available to them. “I wish there was something like this here when I was a student,” she said. “Being able to connect students to different opportunities is a big chance for them to network.”

Eastern’s Promise Scholars were encouraged to reap the benefits of their scholarship. Hartford Promise Scholar Linda Hurey ’22 shared what it’s like being a Promise Scholar. “Financially it takes off a huge burden, and academically it just drives me even more because I’ve been working for this since high school.” Scholars must be in good academic standing throughout their time at Eastern to keep the scholarship. Hurey said how this requirement was no challenge for her. “I’m going to be constant because I know that I have the support system and something to work for.” Hurey majors in New Media Studies and is a resident assistant.

New Haven Promise Scholar Christian Burgos ’23 also spoke about how this scholarship has helped him financially. “I’m a first-generation college student, so I had to learn the ropes a little bit. Before starting college, I didn’t know how I was going to pay and New Haven Promise offered a lot of help and made me feel comfortable for my first year at Eastern.” Burgos majors in Health Sciences.

The reception also welcomed Hartford and New Haven Promise representatives, admission counselors who encouraged Hartford and New Haven students to attend Eastern and staff from the CICD and the Office of Financial Aid.

Written by Bobbi Brown