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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Esperanza Project Gives Students Hope

    For some students at Flushing High School in Queens, the chance to come to Stony Brook, have lunch, tour the university, and listen to an award-winning poet speak — all for free — might have only seemed possible in one place: a dream.

    But with the Esperanza Project, spearheaded by the beta chapter of Phi Iota Alpha fraternity here at Stony Brook, that dream became a reality on Mar. 26. A reality not only for some students at Flushing High School, but also for some from Bayard Rustin Academy in Manhattan, Little Flower High School in Suffolk County, and DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx.

    According to Anthony Nu’ntilde;ez, the fraternity member heading the project this year, the day, which started at 9 a.m., involved breakfast, tours around campus by the fraternity brothers, as well as performances by Anthony Morales.

    Morales is a motivational poet who received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Colombia University, his website site.

    The students, about 150 of them, also received lunch paid for by the fraternity, and Stony Brook information packets. Representatives from the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program, Educational Opportunity Program, and the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs also spoke with students.

    The purpose of the Esperanza Project, as Phi Ota Alpha’s website put it, is to give guidance to disadvantaged high school students by providing them with the necessary information they need to succeed in college. This includes teaching them about the process, and providing them with a “buddy system” where they can stay in touch with the fraternity brothers.

    The Esperanza Project is an annual event started in 2001, and each year a new set of schools are chosen from a random drawing. Students get to spend the day at Stony Brook free or charge, and learn more about the university and colleges in general.

    “We will continue to strive for the continuing the success of incoming students through the Esperanza Project,” the fraternity website said.

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