Student Testimonies

                                                         Fuquan Jackson
                                                            Class of 2001

                            Major:             Political Science
                            Hometown:    Newark, New Jersey

   “You see those trees, they are preparing them for your neck.  They don’t call it the ‘University in the
   Forest’ for entertainment,” one of my high school mentors said.   One of the most difficult challenges
   for me, was gaining admissions into Drew and disregarding all the negative energy I encountered.
   All my immediate friends and teachers attempted to dissuade me.  “Fuquan, Drew is not the place
   for you. Perhaps, you may want to attend a local school,” my English teacher insisted.  With my
   mother and God in my corner, I was accepted into Drew through the Educational Opportunity
   Scholars Program (EOS). As a product of economically and academically disadvantaged background,
   EOS provides me with the support services I need to be successful in my endeavors. Their
   encouragement has aided me to continue my academic struggles as a student here at Drew, despite
   my past.

   As an EOS student, I learned that achieving my goals only starts at Drew. As a result, life after Drew
   will be abundant.  There is without a doubt EOS has opened many doors.  For the most part, EOS has
   played an integral role in my academic career. I am extremely active in the campus community and
   outside it. Since the beginning on my first year, I have given campus tours, hosted prospective
   students, written in the school newspaper and traveled with the Admissions Office to recruit
   first-year students. In addition, I have been employed part-time, for two years at Crate & Barrel in
   the Mall at Short Hills and maintained a course overload each semester.

   For the past two summers, I have also completed a few internships. The first internship was with
   AT&T wireless, followed by the second with Steven Institute of Technology Technical Enrichment
   Program (STEP). Undoubtedly, through the EOS program I was able to achieve these goals and learn
   more about the kind of person I have evolved into since my attendance at Drew.  Currently, I am a member
   of the La Casa Hispanica theme house and executive board member of Kuumba (Pan-African student
   organization), Ariel (Hispanic Cultural Organization) and the Inter-Vasity Christian Fellowship group.
   Through these organizations, I have been able to express myself and work for the improvement of campus
   life for minority students.  “Don’t forget where you came from”, my friend Kareema said as I departed for
   Drew in summer of 1997.

   My efforts to give back to my community have been prevalent. Through my membership with Paradise
   Baptist Church, I have assisted in the advancement of the Newark community.  As a substitute teacher
   for the Newark Board Education I have encouraged the students to pursue their alternatives wisely.

   Being an EOS student, has taught me my weaknesses and strengths. As I plan to attend Law School
   in 2001 at Howard or Villanova Universities, my debt to the EOS program is extensive. I cannot express
   my heartfelt gratitude enough.

Ngina Tene Wiltshire
                                   Class 1999
                            Major:                  Mathematics
                            Minors:                African - American Studies and Business Management
                            Hometown:          Irvington, New Jersey

   "Gina, can you...?" "Gina, would you...?"  "Gina, you should..."  That is all I have heard since I
   stepped on campus in June of 1995.  My answer to those statements were usually "okay," "sure,"
   and "yes."  I was very involved on campus, especially with the Educational Opportunity Scholars
   Program.  I served as a peer counselor for two years tutoring Writing, as well as serving on the
   Student Council Executive Board as Treasurer and then President.  Through my participation in
   these clubs and many others, I truly learned that more learning is gained outside of the
   classroom than within the four walls of Brothers College and Hall of Sciences.

                      Melissa Vargas
                 Class of 2001

                            Major:            Economics
                            Minor:            Business Management
                            Hometown:    Jersey City, New Jersey

   Hello!  My name is Melissa Vargas and I am a participant in the Educational Opportunity Scholars
   Program here at Drew University.  I am originally from Jersey City and graduated from James J. Ferris
   High School in 1997.  I am currently a junior studying economics and business management.  I am
   presently employed as an Assistant to the Secretary at the EOS Program Office.

   Since my freshman year, I have participated in many different activities that Drew University has to
   offer.  I am currently House Assistant for La Casa Hispanica (the Latino Student Theme House).
   I am an active member of ARIEL (Latino Student Organization), KUUMBA (African - American
   Student Organization), the Honduras Project (students go to Honduras for two weeks and work
   with orphanages),  and ResLife (the organization that oversees residential life on campus).  I have
   participated in the Drew International Seminars Program and studied in Iceland for three weeks.
   I have participated in the Drew On-Campus Programs and studied on Wall Street for two days
   each week throughout the semester.  To further my education, I am applying to Drew University
   Semester Abroad Program in which students travel either internationally or domestically and
   study various subjects for a full semester.  The programs for which I am applying to are the
   London Semester, the Washington, D.C. Semester, and the Semester on the New Europe/Brussels.

   Aside from these programs, there are many opportunities to work on campus as a work study
   student.  As a work study student, you have the opportunity to work on campus in various
   locations such as the gym, library, EOS Office, and the University Center.  You also have the
   opportunity to work as a research assistant with a professor in your field of interest.  If you
   choose not to work on campus, there is a baby-sitting hotline which parents around Madison
   and neighboring towns' leave messages for students to apply.   These baby-sitting jobs pay
   good money and many parents are flexible when it comes to the student's schedule.

   Since my freshman year, I have been privileged in receiving the best the directors and staff of
   the EOS Program have to offer.  I have taken advantage of the counseling services, the career
   counseling services, and the tutoring services the EOS Program extends.  Aside from these
   benefits, there is an EOS Honor Society, an EOS Student Council, a Drew University EOS
   student representative that participates in meetings delegating important issues and concerns
   that affect the statewide EOS program, and many opportunities to participate in statewide EOS
   programs in various locations.  I have also taken advantage to the services provided by individual
   staff members.  Taking time out of their busy schedule, they attend our programs if we are involved
   in clubs, they are always willing to listen to us, help us, guide us, and most important, be our friend.
   The EOS staff here at Drew University are wonderful, special people who will remain a part of my life
   even after my career here ends at Drew.

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           Copyright © 1999 Drew University, Educational Opportunity Scholars Program