Javier Berrios had no idea that he was going to a surprise college acceptance party when he went for his regular visit to his school’s college and career office on March 17.
Surrounded by his principal, Mark McCaw, college counselor Jessica Kane, Superintendent Dr. Monique Darrisaw-Akil, and teacher Sybil Duvalsaint, Javier was greeted by balloons and banners presented to him by the team from Hofstra University's New Opportunities at Hofstra Program (NOAH).
The Uniondale School District has not had a student accepted into the NOAH program since 2016.
“This year, NOAH will only be selecting 14 students from hundreds of applicants,” said Roosevelt Smith, director of NOAH. “Javier's offer includes a very generous financial aid package with the opportunity for financial support for books as well.”
Smith said that Javier’s intellectual curiosity was what distinguished him the most in his two-hour-long session with NOAH interviewers.
Javier will begin NOAH this summer, with an all-expenses paid five-week Pre-Freshman Summer Academy. He will be the first in his family to attend college.