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Say Yes scholars get head start for college life at OCC

Say Yes_0.jpg
Ryan Delaney

Twenty-nine students attending Onondaga Community College this fall through the Say Yes to Education program were so excited to hit the books, they started early.

They wrapped up OCC's Summer Success Academy yesterday with a small closing ceremony full of encouraging words from Say Yes and OCC staffers.

The program is funded by Say Yes and OCC. In its second year, it tries to prepare students better for the transition to life at OCC by offering courses, tours, and seminars.

"It's just pretty much a prep for the fall, so when they step foot on the campus they're just ready to go and have a head start on other students," says Jermaine Soto, the program coordinator for the Summer Success Academy.

M’Tia Williams, 18, had reservations about doing the program. But her older sister, who also attends OCC, talked her into it.

"I was kinda interested, but I also was like ‘I don’t want to give up my summer’ because I want to, you know, have a summer to myself," Williams said. "But I wanted to do it because I can get everything out of the way, all my [non-major] classes, and I can take all the classes that I need to take in the fall."

The students will have a few weeks off before classes begin for real for the fall semester.

Say Yes to Education is a national urban education approach adopted by the Syracuse City School District. Among other programs, it helps pay college tuition for students graduating high school in the city.

As for Williams, she plans on studying communications and hopes to some day be a movie critic.