Students on the Move: HEOP Grads Heading Straight to Work | April 2021
By Belinda Bryce, program director, HEOP
The Higher Education Opportunity Program will be graduating 21 students in 2021, and many already have big plans in place.
Fahim Rahman, originally from Syracuse, NY, came to RIT to study mechanical engineering technology. Now he’s graduating with his BS degree and a minor in manufacturing systems and heading straight to GE Aviation’s Operations Management Leadership Program (OMLP). He doesn’t yet know where he’ll be located but after completing a co-op with GE, he knows this is a great opportunity to launch his career.
Hailing from New York City, Gavino Aviles, also graduating with a BS degree and a minor in manufacturing systems, is off to Turner Construction in NYC to work as an engineering assistant.
Namaqua Mills came from the Bronx to study management information systems at RIT. Soon he’ll be relocating to Charlotte, NC, to work as a business analyst for Bank of America—another opportunity borne out of summer internships with BOA.
Another student, Navid Nafiuzzaman, is completing his degree in computer science. He already has an offer to work as a software engineer for Capital One in McLean, VA, but he’s not sure he’ll take it as more offers may come his way.
Erick Gordillo, from Queens, is graduating with a degree in electrical/mechanical engineering and will be working as an electromechanical engineer for Ormazabal here in Rochester.
Samantha Tavarez, a senior in biomedical science with a minor in exercise science and nutritional science, is heading home to Utica, NY, where she will be a research assistant fellow at the Masonic Medical Research Institute (MMRI).
Bridging the opportunity to work and go to graduate school, Zacharry Georges is finishing his undergraduate degree in human-centered computing and starting his MS in human-computer interaction here at RIT while also working as a web developer for Boss Logistics in Queens.
Other seniors entering graduate school include Tiffany Willsey, originally from Richmondville, NY, who studied psychology and has been accepted into a MA program in counseling and community psychology at Russell Sage College. Sojourner Coles, from Brooklyn, studied political science with a minor in business administration will be working on her MBA at RIT. Pacey Long, from Middletown, NY, has already started graduate courses in computing security while finishing her BS in software engineering. Lastly, Stephen Gayle, originally from the Bronx, is taking his BS in accounting with a minor in finance to next level with a MS in accounting from RIT.
Now in its 52nd year, the New York State Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) is committed to the recruitment and academic success of historically disadvantaged students with strong academic potential and personal initiative who would otherwise be excluded from higher education at a private New York state college or university. The program provides financial, academic, and personal support to maximize student success, and it pays off--HEOP’s graduation rates have exceeded RIT’s four of the last six years.