Click the play button above to learn how a local organization is helping to fight poverty by providing resources to students who may not have thought college was possible.
Audio transcript: Azallion Wrap 2
By Anna Azallion SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC NEWS) — After a list came out naming Syracuse as the ninth city of ten in terms of poverty rates, Syracuse residents were looking for answers. On Point for College, an organization that was founded nearly 20 years ago and has helped nearly 8,000 students get a college degree said the answer is education.
An employee for On Point, Abeer Alziadi said the students they’re helping could help reduce the rates of poverty in Syracuse.
“That’s all we can do is support who we have and hopefully they can come back and help us in some way to continue this beautiful cycle and then hopefully Syracuse will get eliminated off that list,” Alziadi said.
On Point has a number of different resources available to students, all revolving around getting a college education and a job. Alziadi described a number of the resources they offer students including help with college applications and financial aid, different opportunities while they’re in college, and even help with the job hunt after graduation.
Alziadi received help from On Point to get her college degree, now she’s using her experiences to help the students in the program.
“It’s kind of like coming in full circle like being a student, struggling and going through the same things a lot of students are going through now,” Alziadi said. “And I’m like listen, it’s gonna work out, trust me I was there. I remember when I went to SU and I had to do the CSS profile and all this other stuff, I was overwhelmed like I was in tears and it was so difficult for me, but now I see other students doing it and I’m like “It’s okay. Cry right now, but let’s continue doing this, let’s work it out, it’s gonna work, I promise.””
Alziadi says during her senior year of high school, she didn’t think college was possible for her, but then she met people from On Point.
“They was like once you sign up for On Point, you’re always On Point. And I’m like whatever. And they’re like we’re gonna need you one day. And I’m like whatever. I’m like I need you guys how can I possibly help you, I don’t know nothing,” Alziadi said.
Now Alziadi works as a transfer specialist for the organization. While her position is meant to help students transfer from Onondaga Community College to Syracuse University, for example, Alziadi says all the employees are trained to do everything so they can help students with whatever they need.
The hallway walls at On Point’s Syracuse office are full of pictures of their students. One wall has pictures from the graduations of everyone who graduated last spring. In the pictures are the students along with an On Point employee who attended their graduation. Other walls have pictures of graduates who are now in the workforce.