Cherrone Windham '12
Hostos Community College ASAP '12
Hunter College ’14
What were your early impressions of ASAP, and how did they change over time?
My first impression of the ASAP program was “Wow!” and my impression didn’t change over time. I didn’t know of the program at all until a classmate of mine informed me of it, and when I met with the ASAP staff I thought, “This is up my alley. I can do this.” I just wish they’d had ASAP when I first went to college in the ’90s.
What was the most rewarding thing about being an ASAP student?
The most rewarding thing was being able to get an appointment with my academic advisor, Lissette Jourdain, and being able to meet with her. She even helped me when I was struggling with Spanish 101. I have to be honest—I was at the brink of wanting to drop the class. I wasn’t doing very well, and my advisor took time out of her own schedule to help me. She actually came to school on a Saturday to tutor me for two hours. I wish I could have brought her to Hunter with me. I really do. I miss the ASAP staff at Hostos.
What, in your opinion, makes ASAP unique?
To me, there are three things about ASAP that helped out a lot and stood out about the program.
The first is the fact that ASAP clusters students together in classes, so it almost feels like in every class, you’re with your family. That helped a lot because when you don’t know anybody, you feel like you can’t talk to anyone about any issues you have. I really appreciated that ASAP grouped us in classes together, so I always had a couple of friends with me.
Also, the monthly MetroCard and getting textbooks prior to classes starting were extremely imperative.
Looking back, how do you think that ASAP impacted your life?
ASAP made me feel that I’m not alone, that there are people and services out there that can actually help me get to where I need to be. In a sense it’s like the saying “It takes a village to raise a child.” That’s what I got from the ASAP program. It felt family-oriented. My mom had a heart attack last year, towards the end of the semester. It was close to finals, I was under a lot of pressure, and I had to take a few days off to go to the hospital and get paperwork done for my mom. I let my academic advisor and professor know what was going on, and they all supported me. That helped me finish the semester, and I was able to maintain my 3.4 GPA due to the support of the ASAP staff.
What is one of the most memorable moments you had as an ASAP student?
Ms. Berkis Cruz, the career advisor, helped me get a job at Yankee Stadium. She knew I needed a job, and she found the job and put in a good word for me. She was adamant about me getting the job, and I got it—and I’m still currently employed at Yankee Stadium.
What are your career goals and/or future plans?
Once I’m done at Hunter, I want to give back to the community. There are so many ways to give back, but my interest is in children, so I’m hoping to end up somewhere in the field of social work.