2017 Advocacy Day
MEOA’s Annual Advocacy Day came a bit early this year on January 17th! We had member representation from Western, Central, and Eastern MA from a range of TRIO and GEAR UP programs across Massachusetts. Members prepped for the day at Suffolk University in Boston before heading up to the State House to familiarize legislators with the mission of MEOA and its affiliated programs and to share the impact and success of those programs. Current Upward Bound students, Jacksiel Colon, Audriana Cruz, and Brianne Ramirez, from the Northfield Mount Hermon program were in attendance and shared their experiences with legislative offices. Ramirez noted that UB has been very impactful in her life by helping her map out a vision for college, Cruz said that in her community she wasn’t expected to go to college but Upward Bound helped her see her future, and Colon commented that he wasn’t sure if he could even go to college before joining UB. Advocacy teams also invited legislators to visit programs in their districts so that they could see them in action and to observe all of the benefits students are receiving across the Commonwealth. We already had three confirmed site visits in the day following the event. The Board is still collaborating with Representative Jose Tosado and Ernesto Cruz for an inclusion of MEOA in the Massachusetts state budget in the future. We remain hopeful that one day in the future MEOA can garner state funding to help college access and success programs in Massachusetts enhance their services and provide more opportunities for their students. If and when that day comes we will need voices and testimony of members, students, and alumni as we move forward! Thanks to the MEOA members and students who attended this year and we look forward to seeing more of you next year.
Consider contacting your legislators to invite them to your programming. https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator