When Antoine Robinson enlisted in the National Guard in the summer of 2011, he was homeless and wanted to find a way out. Joining the military seemed like the best option, and now, just a few years later, it’s proved to be an even greater decision than he could have imagined: Robinson was selected to receive 4-year scholarship to Vassar College, an opportunity that he was not even looking for.
“It came out of nowhere—I was completely blindsided,” says Robinson. “And it’s changed the course of my life.”
This fall, Robinson, who has lived in Glen Cove for about a year and a half, will continue his education and study fine art at Vassar, as part of The Posse Foundation’s Veterans initiative, which was launched in 2012 in an effort to increase the college-going and graduation rates of veterans. He says when he first heard of the opportunity, he didn’t think “it applied to someone like me.”
Just 20 military veterans from across the country have been selected to attend Vassar and Wesleyan colleges next year as part of the initiative.
“The men and women who have served our country in the military deserve the opportunity of a top-rate education, and at the same time colleges benefit from having students with this type of diverse experience and background,” says Posse President and Founder Deborah Bial.
The initiative is supported in part through $2,300,000 in sponsorships; global software company Infor was the founding sponsor of the initiative. Every year, the Posse Foundation identifies, recruits and trains multicultural teams of 10 veterans and sends them to selective four-year institutions of higher education. The Posse Scholarships complement scholarships through the GI Bill and Yellow Ribbon funding to allow each Veterans Posse Scholar to attend college tuition-free and receive support through to graduation.
When Robinson enlisted with the National Guard, he received training in Fort Jackson and Fort Lee, which has helped him get a steady job as a generator technician. His passion, however, is art; he attended Molloy College on a partial scholarship in 2007 for art
before enlisting. A single father of a daughter who is now 6, he spent most of his earlier college career as a single father balancing the demands of a full course schedule with the necessity of working a stable job. Although he maintained a 3.2 GPA, the battle of competing priorities drove him to the brink of homelessness and forced him to put his college education on hold.
He says being in the National Guard has taught him “how to be a leader, how to be a better person. It’s taught me to be focused and stay motivated.”
Robinson’s leadership abilities were quickly recognized by his superior officers during basic training. He was asked to be the platoon leader and serve as a guiding hand for the soldiers in his unit and was named Soldier of the Year in 2012.
Now, Robinson has a new opportunity to finance his education and recommit to his passion of art.
He says he is very excited to start at Vassar in the fall. “It’s an amazing opportunity,” he says, noting however, “Nothing good comes without sacrifice.”
For more information on The Posse Foundation visit www.possefoundation.org
Saturday, 01 March 2014 00:00
The second meeting of the Powers Chemco property site at Glen Cove City Hall last Thursday night focused on health concerns in the surrounding area. Spokesmen from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Department of Health (DOH) and other environmental experts discussed the extent of the contaminated soil and water at the site. It was a continued discussion on the proposed clean-up of the State Superfund site, which was formerly occupied by the Columbia Ribbon and Carbon
Manufacturing Company, and now located within the 15-acre Konica Minolta property.
“After careful studies, we found that the contaminated soil and water table poses no threat to nearby residences,” said Nathan Epler, a hydrogeologist from the environmental consulting and management firm Roux Associates.
Friday, 28 February 2014 00:00
The Glen Cove Council of PTAs will be holding its Annual Community Scholarship Fund Event at the Swan Club on Sunday, March 9, at 11:30 a.m. The Glen Cove Community Scholarship Fund was founded in 1958, and it annually administers funds in the form of scholarships to deserving Glen Cove High School seniors. All proceeds from this event will be donated to this fund. The event will feature a performance by the High School Jazz Band and a basket raffle. This year’s honorees are Nomi Rosen, Dr. Michael Israel, Rosemarie Sekelsky, Brittney Frank Rifkind, Suzanne Anderson and Mary Murphy.
Thursday, 27 February 2014 00:00
The North Shore High School swimming team completed its season with high honors this year. Both the men’s and women’s teams have qualified individual athletes for all-conference and all-county championship competitions.
Coach Samara Weitz has also been honored with the Nassau County Coach of the Year award—motivating many of her athletes to succeed throughout the season, including senior Kristen Stanis.
“She made sure I was working hard, but also having fun,” Stanis said. “She taught me how to balance work and play and how it’s important to maintain it.”
Thursday, 20 February 2014 00:00
It was all fun and games at the fourth annual Winter Classic Hockey tournament at the Town of Oyster Bay Ice Skating Center in Bethpage on Saturday, Feb. 8. Young adults and kids of all ages from the Long Island Blues Hockey team faced off against three other teams in the event that gives individuals with special needs the opportunity to play ice hockey in an accommodating setting.
Michael Russo, founder of the Long Island Blues team, said he started the program 10 years ago so his son, Nicholas, who has autism, could play hockey.