Voices of Students and Alumnae

What the HEOP Scholars Program Means to Me

"If you ask me what HEOP means to me, the words I will think of are support, family and friends. I remember entering Barnard with very little knowledge on what college is like, but HEOP gave me a great transition. Up until now, I thank everyone in the program who has given me incredible advice and suggestions. I love stepping into the office every week, seeing everyone's smiles and know that there are people who care about me. Thank you HEOP for always being there whenever I need it, I love you all!" — Ka Yuk Wong '13

"Through the HEOP Scholars program, I am surrounded by a staff who supports me in my academic endeavors and believe in my ability to succeed. The program has provided me with the much needed foundational support that I desire during my college career. It is a heartwarming feeling--being aware that others BELIEVE in you--despite academic or financial barriers. I am constantly reminded by the HEOP faculty that I am more than capable of succeeding in life and this is a truly inspirational feeling. HEOP opens doors and opens minds to the idea that despite being deemed "disadvantage," one can advance in academics and future careers with the support of individuals who actually care."  — Gladyn Innocent '14 

"HEOP is just too amazing to condense into a quote; saying HEOP is awesome, helpful, and beneficial would be an understatement. I love the fact that all of the girls get along so well with each other and you never have to feel alone because there is always someone to talk to. I especially liked how much easier it was to transition into college life after spending my summer in the HEOP program. Without HEOP...I probably would've been completely lost in all of my classes."  — Elizabeth Dalcand '15

"One of the most intriguing and inspirational programs yet, HEOP has been an enriching and amazingly satisfying opportunity that has changed my life. The amount of support and community that the HEOP program has given me is enough for me to love it. Don't forget to also include all the amazing resources, tutors, workshops, and connections you get by being a HEOP Scholar. As a HEOP scholar, you know and are involved with some of the MOST AMAZING women in the country - the future leaders of our communities."  — Dania M. Sandfia '15

"It has been an absolute privilege to be a part of HEOP. I met friends that I never would have if it hadn't been for HEOP, and the assistance of the HEOP counselors has been truly encouraging."  — Faizunnahar Dewan '13

"HEOP is so wonderful! Coming from a high school where the administration did not know who I was, I found it so comforting to come here in the summer and not only become prepared for my classes, but also meet all the administrators on campus.  HEOP eased my transition from high school to college not only academically, but also allowing me to stay on campus and explore it for five weeks.  Some of my closest friends are from HEOP.  We are able to connect to each other in so many levels.  I love having an entire office of people dedicated to making sure that I graduate and am doing okay in my classes.  It is an honor to be a HEOP student. "  — Paramita Roy '15

Advice from Big Sisters

"First, definitely take advantage of the shopping period and make sure that you like the class material and the professor. I would have definitely dropped a class or two had I really shopped around for better classes. Also, I would advise to join at least one extra curricular activity group like a club or caucus. There are a lot of clubs that don't require too much of your time and are a fun way to meet people that are interested in similar things as you."  — Kimberlynn Acevedo '10

"Simply ask because with HEOP you will find your answer."  — Keesandra Agenor '10

"We were all once seniors in high school. So what's to stop us from becoming seniors in college? The answer to that question is, of course, nothing. It is the beginning of a new food chain, and all we are is starting from the bottom and working our way up to the top for a greater education; forming new relationships along the way with people who care about us and our goals. In the long run, it's worth the whole 110 percent of the effort we put in."  — Cynthia Cessant '10

"To all the newcomers do not be afraid to take risks and make mistakes. Time will pass by, so take the opportunities before you and explore your interests. In terms of academics, they require dedication, but exhaustion will only hurt you. Enjoy your time and prepare to become part of the Barnard Community."  — Sabrina Lopez '10

"Barnard is the best college that you could have chosen. It has given me more than I can express. Never have I felt this welcome in any institution. Not only has financial aid been extremely helpful in getting me through college, but also an Ivy League at that. The advisors and professors have always been there when I needed them. And I am not only saying this to make Barnard look good. You will know as the year goes by. I couldn't be any happier in any other college. Please ask questions, always. You will always get an answer."  — MR '10

"I would first say that you should get to know the campus. Be familiar with all the buildings and offices. Next, I would say that it also helps to be familiar with the professors. Be comfortable with them because they can help if you find yourself struggling. Next, the HEOP office is your best tool. They can help clear up any issue and also provide you with books and tutoring. Attend all your classes because the only one that loses is you. Do all assignments and participate because those are bonus points. Lastly, the tunnel is and will be your best friend!"  — Alina Rodriguez '09

"Make sure you eat healthy and get your day's rest. By finals week, all you're going to want to do is sleep. Take advantage of all the resources that Barnard has to offer! It's exponentially amazing! Everyone at Barnard is welcoming and very friendly so you'll find yourself right at home."  — Alyssa Taussig '09

"Do not get discouraged. This will lead to low grades and low motivation. There are so many ways to succeed. There are a lot of people and groups that are willing and available to help you out, whether academically or emotionally. Also, mediocre work will not get you anywhere. Just passing is not acceptable. We have to work hard, especially us HEOP scholars that come from minority or economically disadvantaged backgrounds. We have to surpass all obstacles, as cliché as this may sound."  — Joeli Velasco '10