FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2016
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BERKELEY COLLEGE ADDS TO DISCUSSION
Students and Officials Join New York Leaders in Puerto Rico
Photo Caption A: Berkeley College students Rebecca Aguilera (Left) of Maumelle, AR, and Alexis Gonzalez (Right) of Queens, NY, with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio during the 2016 SOMOS Puerto Rico Conference, held in San Juan, Puerto Rico, from November 9 to 13, 2016.
Students and officials from Berkeley College journeyed to the Caribe Hilton in San Juan, Puerto Rico, to participate in the 2016 SOMOS Puerto Rico Conference, held from November 9 to 13, 2016. Hosted by SOMOS el Futuro in collaboration with the New York State Assembly Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force, the annual fall conference brings together legislators, scholars, business and labor leaders to address concerns currently effecting the Latino community in New York, Puerto Rico, and beyond.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke during the reception at the conference held on November 12, 2016, where he expressed his views on the outcome of the Presidential election and its potential impact on the Hispanic community.
“It’s good to be together to know that when you feel some things have descended into madness, turn to each other and remind each other, we were here long before all that began and we will be here long after it’s gone,” Mayor de Blasio said.
Assemblyman Marcos A. Crespo (85th District), Chairman of the New York State Assembly Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force, added during the reception that, “We have no time to agonize, but we have to focus on how we’re going to organize. Think about who is leading us in this city, the City of New York … and more importantly, what has been accomplished.”
Berkeley College students Rebecca Aguilera of White Plains, NY, and Alexis Gonzalez of Queens, NY, were accompanied at the Conference by Gbubemi Okotieuro, Berkeley College Vice President, Government Relations and Dallas Reed, PhD, Berkeley College Vice President, Student Development and Campus Life. Throughout the Conference they attended workshops and presentations addressing various issues in education, business development, health, and the environment effecting the Hispanic community.
“A big issue we discussed regarding education was about how to bridge the higher education gap among students of color – Latinos and African-Americans,” Mr. Okotieuro said. “How do we create an environment that will encourage youth of color to achieve higher education? What support systems do we need to provide for these students?”
Photo Caption B: (L to R) Dallas Reed, PhD, Berkeley College Vice President, Student Development and Campus Life; Berkeley College student Alexis Gonzalez of Queens, NY; Assemblyman Marcos A. Crespo, Chairman of the New York State Assembly Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force; Berkeley College student Rebecca Aguilera of Maumelle, AR; New York Senator Martin Malavé Dilan; and Iran Rodriguez, President and CEO, Puerto Rican Family Institute in New York, NY, during the 2016 SOMOS Puerto Rico Conference, held in San Juan, Puerto Rico, from November 9 to 13, 2016.
During a tour of the Puerto Rican Family Institute’s model Early Head Start/Head Start program in the Mountains of Corozal, Puerto Rico, students were given the opportunity to not only meet teachers and children the program supports, but also speak directly with New York Senator Martin Malavé Dilan and experts in the early childhood field.
“It was inspiring for us to spend time with Senator Dilan, and have an open discussion with him about the importance of a quality in early childhood education for future generations of the United States and Puerto Rico,” Dr. Reed said.
Berkeley College students had extensive conversations during additional events with New York legislators and civic leaders like Assemblyman Crespo; New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman; Iran Rodriguez, President and CEO, Puerto Rican Family Institute in New York, NY, and others.
“The conference afforded our students a chance to interact with some of New York City and New York State Government’s most powerful figures, and see that they are human beings just like us,” Mr. Okotieuro said. “Opportunities like this are vital to the development of students, and I hope this experience will inspire them as they continue their education at Berkeley College.”
Photo Caption C: New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman with Berkeley College students Rebecca Aguilera (Right) of Maumelle, AR, and Alexis Gonzalez (Left) of Queens, NY, during the 2016 SOMOS Puerto Rico Conference, held in San Juan, Puerto Rico, from November 9 to 13, 2016.
Join the Conversation on Social Media: @BerkeleyCollege @Somos_el_Futuro #SomosPR
A leader in providing career-focused education since 1931, Berkeley College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and enrolls more than 8,000 students – including more than 600 international students – in its Master, Baccalaureate, and Associate degree and Certificate programs. Students can study in more than 20 career fields. Berkeley College is comprised of the Larry L. Luing School of Business®, the School of Professional Studies, the School of Health Studies and the School of Liberal Arts. The School of Graduate Studies offers a Master of Business Administration degree in Management online and in Woodland Park, NJ.
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