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Wednesday, December 18, 2019 - 3:15pm

The Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP), a partnership between the State of New York and its independent colleges that provides economically and educationally disadvantaged residents the possibility of a college education, is celebrating a milestone semicentennial.

At its inception in 1969, the program provided grants to approximately 25 institutions of higher learning to fully support students who would otherwise be unable to attend a postsecondary education. Fifty years later, the program has expanded to fund the support programs of over 50 independent colleges and universities throughout New York, including Mercy College.

Mercy’s very own Barbara Jones Jones, director of HEOP for the College, was honored with the Arthur O. Eve President’s Award at program's annual conference last month. She has helped Mercy HEOP students through college completion, managed their remedial and developmental needs, and structured their comprehensive support services. Jones Jones also received the HEOP pin for her 15 years of service working to implement HEOP.

“I was extremely honored and humbled to receive this award. I do this work because I have a passion for helping students to get an education and HEOP gives them that opportunity,” said Jones Jones. “And, I am proud of our dedicated staff who all work hard to see our students graduate.”

Mercy College looks forward to commemorating the 50th anniversary of HEOP with its own celebration in the spring.