Mariama Njie '09
Bronx Community College ASAP '09
Stony Brook University, Bachelors of Science Magna Cum Laude '11
Hunter College Silberman School of Social Work Masters Program, current student
The first time I was introduced to ASAP was in the year 2007 at my orientation at Bronx Community College. As the speaker described ASAP, I felt it was the right match for me because according to the speaker, one of ASAP’S main goals is to help you graduate in two years, and that was exactly what I wanted. The free metro cards and the books on top of graduating on time were also attractions. So, I made a visit to the ASAP office and found out I was eligible, and that was the start of my college journey.
Entering the ASAP program, I at first felt that there were too many rules, such as choosing a block program to follow for the academic semester, meeting an advisor frequently, and attending tutoring. My feelings of “too many rules” completely vanished when I gained an understanding of what the ASAP program really meant. I gained this understanding when I saw that almost all of the staff knew the names of the students and cared to know how the students were doing in their classes. There was a time in my college journey when I was unsure of what I really wanted to study and my academic advisor was there with me in my journey of uncertainty. With my advisor’s support I finally figured out what I wanted to study and I was helped with the transition of switching majors; thankfully my new major was one within the ASAP curriculum. I am pleased that I had the opportunity to gain a lasting relationship with my academic advisor. I also felt that many of the professors who taught ASAP students pushed us to reach our full potential. The ASAP directors, advisors and employment specialist were all a major help in pushing us to achieve our goals. I always had someone in ASAP to turn to who understood my needs. The support was always there and it is what encouraged me to work harder.
I graduated from ASAP August 2009 and in the same month I started the continuation of my college journey at Stony Brook University. The process of applying to Stony Brook’s social work program was long and intense, but with the help of my advisor it was completed and I was accepted. I lived on campus for two years, which was a major transition from commuting from home to school. The school was also huge in size; there were many major/minor departments, the student body was huge, and there were so many clubs and professors—and the list goes on and on. Although it was a new environment, I was prepared because I learned during my ASAP journey to keep striving high because the ability is there.
I survived Stony Brook and in May 2011, I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in social work and received the honor of graduating Magna Cum Laude. With the early knowledge I received from ASAP I was able to apply on my own to an advanced standing graduate social work program. I was accepted and now I attend Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. ASAP has kept me motivated on my educational journey. Had I not been in the program, I am not quite sure where or what I would be doing today. I would like to thank all of the staff who worked with me from 2007 to 2009 and those who still work with me today. I appreciate all of your help.