The first time Marisol met with a CCF counselor she was still incarcerated. On May 22, 2009, she left Bayview Correctional Facility with a heart full of hope, an associate’s degree and a plan to continue her path to higher education. To this day her determination and perseverance have not wavered.
One month and 2 days after being released, Marisol was at CCF’s office filling out her City University of New York (CUNY) transfer application and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
In order to complete her application, Marisol requested a copy of her transcripts from Bard College’s Bard Prison Initiative (BPI). In the fall of 2009, CCF counselors followed up with Marisol’s CUNY application and discovered that the BPI transcripts had never been received. Marisol reached out to BPI again and was assured that the transcripts had been sent and would be resent. Again, no transcripts were ever received by CUNY and the spring 2010 application deadline closed. Due to high volume of applications received by CUNY, the deadline closed unusually early.
Although she had done everything she was supposed to, Marisol would not be able to start school in spring 2010. In the meantime, as part of her parole requirements, Marisol started working for CEO. Though the deadline had passed, CCF counselors continued to reach out to CUNY and were able to contact an admissions counselor named June at The Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor, Queens College, CUNY. Upon hearing Marisol’s situation, June granted Marisol 48 hours to reapply, pay another application fee and have official transcripts delivered.
Between parole meetings and CEO requirements it would be impossible for Marisol to meet the deadline. CCF reached out to BPI and explained the situation. The following day one of BPI’s staff personally hand delivered the official transcripts, CCF issued a check for the admission fee and Marisol made it to the Murphy Institute by 8PM that evening. Marisol started classes the following day.
With a heart full of gratitude, she beamed as she introduced herself to her peers at CCF’s April community meeting and spoke these words, “My name is Marisol. I am a student at Queens College pursuing a bachelor’s in Business Administration and International Finance.” Marisol had finally arrived.