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Among the benefits the Act 101/Educational Opportunity Program provides is the opportunity for selected Bloomsburg University freshmen to get a jump-start on college life prior to the fall semester. As they near the end of their Act 101 summer experience Mia Medina and Francisco Rivera both agree.

However, they got their first true taste of BU last year.

They were among a group of rising seniors on campus with the Bloomsburg-Allentown Partnership, an annual two-week residential program designed to excite and prepare high school students for college. Each say the partnership was a big help to them in not only getting focused for college but choosing the right fit.

“Last summer was real nice,” said Rivera, a biology/pre-medicine major. “It introduced us to the professors and others on campus who provide support to the students. It’s been great seeing those same professors and support system in place for us this summer.”

Medina, a criminal justice major, added, “From the first time I stepped foot on campus, it felt like home. I knew I would be comfortable, so seeing what it was like for two weeks made sense. I connected well with everyone last summer. It made my decision easy.”

According to Medina, the partnership’s program assistants were a big influence.

“I remember one would always tell us to make sure we got involved, know what our goals are and stick with it,” Medina said. “He would always say, ‘there isn’t anything you can’t learn.’ Looking back now, he was right.”

Rivera agrees, adding the whole partnership program was a big help for this summer’s transition.

“Last summer helped teach us not to procrastinate,” Rivera said. “We were on a strict schedule. It’s very similar to Act 101. I believe we have been more prepared because of it.”

Act 101 has continued that progress, according to the Allentown freshmen.

“We’re under a strict schedule, which keeps us focused,” Rivera said. “It’s also helping us learn our way around campus better and how to study properly. Basically all of the fundamentals are being taught, and it will be up to us to use them.”

Medina adds, not just for the upcoming fall semester but throughout her college career.

“I’m expecting BU to put me in the right path to succeed,” Medina said. “There are a lot of support services, advisors and professors here to help you succeed. They want you to do well.”

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Bloomsburg University Act 101/EOP students, Keah Brown and Marletia Pressley, were recently selected recipients of the 2015 Pennsylvania Association of Developmental Educators (PADE) Scholarship Award presented to Bloomsburg University at PADE’s annual conference this spring.

Each student received $250 for books for the fall 2015 semester. The awards were presented by Melissa Cheese, interim director of Act 101/EOP, and Tara Diehl, developmental mathematics instructor. Both students are completing their freshman year as intended psychology majors and are actively involved in campus student organizations.

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Bloomsburg University’s Act 101/EOP recently completed another productive and enriching summer program, helping more than 250 students — many of whom are first-generation college students — get acclimated to college life and prepared for a successful college experience. Among the courses taken and academic support provided to the students over the past six weeks included reading, algebra, college writing, public speaking, U.S. history, Spanish I, computer skills, mindfulness and college orientation.

Act 101/EOP, coordinated through the Department of Developmental Instruction, provides support and opportunities for success to students traditionally under-represented in higher education.

Through this program, students …

  • reach their potential  — Act 101/EOP assists students, who are at a financial, cultural, social or educational disadvantage, in making a successful transition to Bloomsburg University.
  •  discover the value of progress  — Act 101/EOP develops students to their fullest potential through academic advising, tutoring, mentorship and a pre-college summer program.
  • exposure to cultural enrichment activities  — avisit to the state capitol in Harrisburg and annual picnic at Town Park

Melissa Cheese, interim director of Bloomsburg University's Act 101/Educational Opportunity Program, and nearly 30 students recently went on a bus trip to Hershey, where they saw the Broadway musical Sister Act and went to other area attractions such as Hershey’s Chocolate World and the Hershey Outlets.

Participating students included Glorinette Calderon, Jeremy Carrington, Mary Carrington, Naiomi Cayo Nelson, Kahdeejah Cook, Olivia Corner, Nam Dang, Raijene Dreuitt, Deborah Flippen, Brianna Johns, David Johnson, Daniel Mason, Alonna Mayo, Tyneshia McNeil, Shirley Neequaye, Sang Nguyen, Breanna Nicholson, Christopher Patterson, Sheila Pica, Mya Pipkin, Jha-Keara Porter, Simone Rhoads, Farida Saka, Justin Mcleod, Mike St. John, Octavia Williams and Jahkere Wilson.