On Wednesday, August 7 Vaughn College hosted New York State Assemblywoman Aridia Espinal of District 39, who addressed the importance of education and leadership to high school students completing Vaughn’s summer pre-college programs. Groups enrolled in the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) and Upward Bound/STEP programs gathered in the student success center to hear from the recently elected state official.

“I’m passionate about my community and want to encourage students to be future leaders that they are,” said Espinal. “You can make a difference in this world and it starts with focusing on your education.”

Espinal spoke on her childhood experiences in the Queens area and how it led to her career representing district 39 which oversees Jackson Heights, Corona and Elmhurst. Following a question and answer portion, Upward Bound/STEP students presented their STEM projects and skills they’ve learned throughout the summer program. She also spoke to students and parents about their experience from the programs and their future planning for higher education.

The goal of Upward Bound/STEP is to increase secondary education completion and encourage students’ enrollment and graduation from postsecondary education institutions. The HEOP program offers college-readiness classes and provides a fundamental understating of math, science, technical and aviation-related concepts.

For contact information and more on the learning center, click here.