College Student Appreciates Opportunity

An excited and proud Bronx student at the College of Mount Saint Vincent is ready for graduation and credits a federal program for leading the way.

A federal government funded program of the U.S. Department of Education called TRIO offers first generation college students of disadvantaged backgrounds an opportunity to go to college. While the student is in college, the program offers guidance, assistance and help in the development of strong relationships with others. Their goal is motivate and prepare these students for college and post-college life. TRIO is currently serving 160 students and the government replenishes the funding cycle every five years.

Christopher Flores, of Norwood, was given the opportunity to attend college four years ago on behalf of TRIO. This January, Flores is ready to enter his last semester at the College of Mount Saint Vincent before graduating in May. Flores will receive a bachelor’s degree in education and sociology and plans on pursuing a career in the education field. Although he is a hard-working student, he believes that his focus and knowledge would not be the same if it was not for the help of TRIO.

“TRIO has always been there for me through everything since the day I began college,” Flores said. “All of my accomplishments and drive to succeed in the last four years have come from the push and support that the staff of TRIO has given me.”

In his time at Mount Saint Vincent, Flores has made a strong name for himself within the school. He is currently president of the student government, a member of the CMSV Players Theatre Club and a resident advisor. Along with his studies of sociology and education, Flores also completed a student-teacher program at P.S. 24 in Riverdale. Jesilyn Perez, director of TRIO, deals with all of the students enrolled in the program. In particular, she is very proud of the work that Christopher Flores has done for the school and for the TRIO program itself.

“Christopher is an ideal role model for all of the other students involved in our program.” Perez said. “At first he was very shy, but now he is very open with the other students and our staff. He is exceptionally giving and generous to the other students and as a result, they gain a noticeable confidence while looking up to him.”

Although Flores really working with younger children, he hopes to begin a career helping higher education seeking students, such as those that TRIO assists.

“TRIO has been nothing short of the best for me in helping me through my college life,” said Flores. “They were there for me when I needed help and I truly want to give back to the future students everything that TRIO was able to provide for me at Mount Saint Vincent.”

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