Student Success Stories

Scholar Spotlight: Q & A with Dennis

Freshman at Providence College


What is one thing you learned you loved because of HPAC programs?

HPAC helped me discover my inner desire to make a change in the lives of different people. I was influenced by the organization to work towards a career where I can help make a change in my community. HPAC works towards improving the Hunts Point community, specifically the children of impoverished families. I have seen the work that HPAC has done over the years and it has inspired me to try and do the same when I get older.

 What would you tell a 6th grader in Hunts Point about college?

I would tell a 6th grade in Hunts Point that you can be anyone you want to be if you work hard towards it. College gives you the opportunity to work towards that intended goal. Hard work and dedication pays off and I have come to learn that through my hard work, motivation, and dedication in high school, which helped me to earn a full scholarship to college.

What high school or college class most inspired you? How?

My intro to sociology class at Providence College has inspired me the most so far. Although it was just an intro class, we covered so much information regarding different topics of social problems ranging from racism to immigration. It inspired me because it highlighted the many social injustices in our nation and in our world, which is something that I want to help tackle when I get older. Taking this intro to sociology class led me to declare as sociology major along with psychology major.

What summer internships have you had? What did you learn that was unexpected?

My first summer internship was with Rocking the Boat in Hunts Point as an “on-water” specialist. As an on-water specialist, I learned many techniques on testing water from the Bronx River. We also learned about the restoration process to clean the Bronx River. My next internship after that was with HPAC as I wrote articles for the summer magazine. In the magazine, I wrote articles on police brutality in the internet age and also did a profile piece on the NYPD 41st precinct.

Lastly, for the past two summers I have worked for the REACH program as a camp counselor. The REACH program during the summer takes younger students to the University of Scranton to take advanced summer classes for three weeks followed by another three weeks at Regis High School. From all of these experiences, I have learned that I can help make a change anywhere whether helping to clean a river or helping younger kids in their learning experience.

What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of earning my full tuition scholarship to Providence College and being the first one in my family to attend college. By doing so, I feel that I am being a great role model to my younger brothers and a great source of hope for my parents for our future. Having the chance to go to college without having to worry about college tuition expenses lifts a huge burden for both my family and I. It grants me the chance of a lifetime to explore my interests and work towards my career for four years while away from home in New York City.