SYRACUSE — A night to celebrate some of Central New York's most hard working and dedicated students. Syracuse-based On Point for College has helped more than 2,500 people graduate from college. Young people who overcome financial hurdles so they have the opportunity to succeed in higher education.
"They're running for office, opening up their own businesses, heading organizations and doing so many impactful things in the community," said On Point for College executive director Samuel Rowser. "It just gives you a great feeling."
Students that earned their education every step of the way. Meanwhile, a massive college admissions scandal has uncovered wealthy families took part in cheating on standardized tests or bribing schools officials to get their kids accepted.
Rowser says 90% of the people they serve are first generation college students who do not come from privilege.
"These are students who "I didn't know how to get in. I didn't know the playbook. Once they gave me the playbook and I followed the rules I got in based on my own skills, my own ability and I was successful because I was willing to put in the hard work."
One of those success stories is Abeer Alziadi, a graduate of Onondaga Community College and Syracuse University.
The Henninger High School grad now works for On Point as an advisor. Alziadi said she can speak personally to the amount of dedication and hard work On Point students put into not only graduating college, but balancing other obstacles outside of school.
There are students that believe it's not possible," said Alziadi. "This application is too long or this process is unpredictable, but we say hey we're going to work it through it's possible. Once they trust us I think that fixes everything. We've seen it a million times and we don't think it's impossible to continue your education."