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Testimonials

over 500 students received service through The Connection Center between September and December 2016"It was two days before Christmas when my apartment building burned down. I am a single mother to an 8-year-old boy. We lost everything. I went to go see my advisor, and when I shared my story, he thought that the Connection Center would be able to help. All I really wanted was a bus ticket, yet I got so much more. I got connected to 211. They helped me find clothing donations for myself and my son. They also connected me to agencies that can donate clothing, and they also connected me with a service that would assist me in paying a late utility bill. Not only was I able to get several resources from 211, but the faculty at RCC helped me in so many ways. I am so thankful for the outpouring of support that I have received from the community."

 

112 students participated in a Problem-Solving for When Life Happens workshop"I first found out about the Connection Center by visiting the Kiosk located in the Student Union building. I was 5 months pregnant. When I arrived in the Center, Joe invited me to sit down in private and chat. He offered me a cup of decaf coffee and gave me a cool stress ball. Joe guided me through the 2-1-1 call, so I could find a doctor, as I was not happy with my current medical care. I was able to find a physician I am satisfied with shortly after my visit at the Connection Center. A couple of weeks later I visited the Center again and was able to speak with a mental health counseling intern about everything that has been going on. Tierra is warm and compassionate. She was able to provide me with additional community resources for expectant mothers, other than those I obtained from 211.  I’m so glad I went to the Connection Center for help."

 

"My family and I had our home burned to the ground. Our story was on the news.  We lost everything. We were in need of food, clothing and other basic necessities. I first found out about the Connection Center by visiting the Kiosk. A Resource Navigator helped connect us to the Center. Joe escorted us to the clothes closet on campus. After, we went back to the Center and Tierra called 2-1-1 and gathered several resources to food pantries, soup kitchens, church resources, and other community support resources for us. We also received food from the RCC Food Cupboard, brought directly to us by Mike. A couple of weeks later I received donations of clothes and bed sheets from the Connection Center itself. Getting back on our feet is difficult, but the Connection Center has done a great job helping us get our basic needs met."

 

239 students visited the two Life Happens kiosks strategically placed on campus"Dr. Katie Lynch referred me to the Connection Center. I initially came in about my basement being flooded, where 80% of my belongings were ruined. I missed out on work trying to salvage the rest of my belongings. I lost a lot of sentimental items, which was devastating. I spoke with Tierra about my situation and she helped me sort out what exactly I needed to do, as well as took the time to explore how I was feeling and what I was thinking about what had happened. She called the 2-1-1 helpline for me and provided me with some contact information for some community resources. The best and most surprising part was when I was given donations from a professor at RCC and the Connection Center itself. Rockland Community College really cares about its students."

 

40.5% increase in calls to Hudson Valley 211 from September-December 2016 compared to same period 2015"I had just lost my job and had no way of paying my bills. I suddenly became homeless. I did not have the support of my family, and did not know what I would do. I was living in my car, and I would sleep in the parking lot of a plaza. The stress of not having shelter started to cause an immense amount of anxiety. I was scared that I would not be able to continue my education. I was referred to the Connection Center, and they connected me with 211. They were able to give me resources for shelter, food pantries, clothing donations, and free cell phone information. I was overwhelmed by all the help that I received. A few months have passed since I started sleeping in my car, and I am proud to say that I found a job, have a place to stay, and I am also in the Honor's program. Susie and Joe continue to reach out to me to follow-up and I look forward to hearing from them. I can’t imagine the turn my life could have taken if I had never visited the Connection Center."

 

"The Connection Center has personally changed my life. It made me realize how lucky I am to have such loving supporting parents. I remember one night I was yelling at my parents to get me the newest iPhone and they told me no. I remember walking away with such hatred in my heart. The next day I came into my internship and heard a story of a student my age that did not have support from his parents. That student made me realize how grateful I should be to have the love and support I have in my life."

 

30% decrease in the number of students applying for late withdrawal due to non-academic, Life Happens reasons during Fall 2016"Imagine feeling like you do not belong. It can be difficult being around people who may not understand what I go through on a daily basis. I expressed my concerns to Joe Falco. He listened patiently as I vented to him of how hard it is to be a student from the LGBT community. Joe saw that there was a need to assist the LGBT community on campus, and began a support group. Every Wednesday LGBT students come together at the Connection Center. For one hour every week, I spend time with others who know exactly how I am feeling. The Connection Center has made me feel safe. No one passes judgement on how I live my life. Our group has created a special bond. I look forward to attending every week, and I never want to leave. Even when group is over, some of us stay at the Center, and continue speaking. I appreciate the friendships and support that I have received from the Connection Center."

 

"My name is Christelle Fleurimond and I have been a student worker at the Connection Center for two semesters. I became a part of a family that dedicates their lives to help those in need. At the moment of applying I did not know the Center would greatly affect one of my life decisions. During my interview, I got excited about the strides being taken for students with this program. I believe Joe Falco saw that with the big grin I had across my face the whole time during my interview. During the discussion groups I was able to attend this semester, Love was the word I used to describe it. I pride myself on being an individual that finds positivity in every situation and I had the opportunity to share that part of me. People I have not seen before became people I confided in to share my stories and give advice. I felt like me. That might seem odd to say, but it’s not everyday someone can say they did not feel like they had to alter themselves to feel a part of. The Connection Center is a place that will change so many lives. Even if it is not written on paper or bluntly expressed it can play a big role in one’s life. I have always struggled with finding a major that satisfied my being and working here put it in perspective. I am now working on becoming a mental health counselor. This is the best fit for me because I have a lot I can offer the world. I am excited to continue my journey and it is all thanks to the Connection Center."

 

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