Having received the gift of education, students in the Educational Opportunity Program’s (EOP) Beta Omicron chapter of the Chi Alpha Epsilon (XAE) National Honor Society are always excited to give back to the community.
Sarah Lucas ’10 (Psychology), president of XAE, said, “We have been given the opportunity to succeed through being enrolled in an EOP class. It is crucial for us to show support to those who need it now, as much as we did in the past.”
This semester, students participated in two fundraising events. A three-day food drive during the Thanksgiving holiday yielded enough food to feed 50 local families. The group, led by adviser Ivelisse Tuttle (EOP), collected more than 11 full boxes of non-perishable food items from the campus community, which was donated to Family of New Paltz and Maranatha Services in Poughkeepsie. Last week, the honor society students organized a gift-wrapping event on campus with the proceeds benefiting Toys for Tots in the Hudson Valley.
“Both events gave us a great opportunity to show how important giving back to the community and helping others is to XAE,” said Tanaisha Semidey ’11 (Pre-Art Education), vice president of the honor society. “There’s no better way to do this than by coming together and working towards a common goal.”
Anthony Bonilla, director, said EOP students are eager to help and that is a quality they seek to instill in their students. Community service is a significant element of the program’s mission and is encouraged throughout the year. In addition to holiday-themed fundraisers, students also tutor and volunteer at local organizations.
“Our students genuinely understand the importance of giving and making a difference in the lives of others,” said Bonilla.