Special to the Herald
NEW BRITAIN - Nearly 200 people visited the Central Connecticut State University campus over the last weekend in June to celebrate a half-century of recognizing high school students who are taking college-level courses.
The Educational Opportunity Program was created by a former math professor at CCSU who noticed gifted minority students weren’t doing well in his class. This five-week summer program now exists for low-income and first-generation college-bound students to take college-level courses without meeting CCSU’s requirements.
To celebrate 50 years of the program, EOP alumni, donors, and more members of the community attended the events, which included a gala for the alumni at the Aqua Turf Club.
“For the past 50 years, the success of the Educational Opportunity Program has depended on the summer program faculty, administrators, our College Peer Mentors, and other campus community supporters,” CCSU president Zulma R. Toro said.
About 2,100 students have enrolled in the EOP and have found work in education, law, engineering and more. The program’s director, Awilda Reasco, completed the program in the 80s.
“I’m very excited to have brought together everybody who has experienced the uniqueness of this program,” Reasco said. “We all have something in common and had the opportunity to share our professions and our stories. So many of us were in the first in our families to go to college, breaking the cycle of poverty and enabling us to provide better futures for our children.”
Visit CCSU.edu for more details about the program.