Finger Lakes Community College student Khadija Muhammadi of Rochester has received the 2019 Norman R. McConney Jr. Award, an honor that recognizes excellence among participants in the State University of New York Educational Opportunity Program.
SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson congratulated Muhammadi and other students from across New York at a ceremony on Oct. 17 at the SUNY Global Center in Manhattan.
The award bears the name of the late Norman McConney, one of the architects of the statewide Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), which provides financial assistance and support to those who face obstacles in achieving their educational and personal goals.
Muhammadi immigrated to the U.S. from Pakistan in 2015 to live with two sisters while finishing high school in Irondequoit. Her parents and brother remain in her home country; she keeps in touch via Skype.
The Educational Opportunity Program supports Objective 2 by providing support to students from underserved populations.
A mathematics major, she chose FLCC for its small environment. “When I came to FLCC, I knew this was the right place for me,” she said. Muhammadi plans to transfer following graduation in May 2020 though she has not yet selected her four-year school.
She said participating in EOP helped her acclimate to college in the U.S. The program provides a dedicated counselor who can help students with everyday concerns about their schedule, transportation and other issues. It also includes a summer program with classes and field trips to prepare students for college.
Muhammadi lives in the residence hall adjacent to campus. Her roommate invited her to join the student organization AALANA, which stands for African-American, Latino/a, Asian and Native American, adding to her student experience.
“It’s not only a college, it’s a support system,” she said. “You have a network and can connect with others.”
The Educational Opportunity Program is open to New York State residents who show evidence of a historical educational and financial disadvantage and demonstrate the potential to be academically successful with EOP support. Further details and an application are available at flcc.edu/eop or by calling (585) 785-1390.