On Wednesday, August 16 the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) and Quick Start summer program held their completion ceremony for the six-week immersive program that offers college preparation to pre-freshman students. New York State Senator Jose Peralta was the special guest speaker and gave an encouraging address to the excited students.

“Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t achieve your goals,” said Peralta. “Trust in your vision and make sure you do the most to become that vision, and ignore any unnecessary noise.”

Senator Peralta represents the 13th state senate district that oversees Jackson Heights, Corona, East Elmhurst, Elmhurst and parts of Woodside and Astoria. Following his speech he sat and spoke with students about their experiences through the six weeks and their plans for future studies.

The state funded HEOP program continues to offer college-readiness classes and provides a fundamental understating of math, science, technical and aviation-related concepts. Incoming Vaughn freshmen from the program showed their excitement on continuing their studies in September. “I feel like this gave me a strong foundation that will really help me this semester,” said John Mensah, an incoming freshman from Bronx Health Sciences High School. “I will major in aircraft operations and can’t wait to start.”

For more information about the HEOP/Quick Start program, click here.