Jack Suria Linares ’15

Hometown: Los Angeles, Calif.
Major: History
Activities as a student: The Brothers Organization, Black & Latino Student Union,  La Vanguardia, men’s rugby football club, prospective student host, junior year study abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina and the New York City program

“Opportunity Programs has not only given me the networks, skills and guidance for my personal and academic growth; it has provided a basis for the rigorous and competitive environments beyond Hamilton. Who would have thought that in two years I would have traveled across the hemisphere from Rampart Boulevard? Opportunity Programs. The women who work in this office provide the best support and access to resources at Hamilton. They work endlessly to ensure that I have a home away from home. They expect the best from me. I confide wholeheartedly in them and in my friends who went through the summer program. While it may be difficult and irritable to spend weeks in an academic environment, the outcomes Opportunity Programs provides can never be taken away from me.”


Gretha Suarez ’15

Hometown: Miami, Fla.
Major: World Politics
Activities as a student: Leadership Experience and Preparation Program, Voices of Color Lecture Series, Hamilton Alumni Leadership Training, Inclusion Task Force, Class of 2015 Senior Gift Committee, La Vanguardia, rugby football club, junior year study abroad in India and the Washington, D.C. Hamilton program

“The Opportunity Program has been a trustworthy outlet of support during my Hamilton experience. I appreciate and regard the relationships I built with the women working in this office. They have truly helped me when I needed advice on everything ranging from academics to career to personal life. I hope as incoming students you actively take advantage of this opportunity.”

Justin Brown ’14

Hometown: Rochester, N.Y.
Major: Sociology
Minor: Hispanic Studies
Activities as a student: resident advisor, Christian Fellowship Leadership Team, "Do Something" Club Leadership Team, assistant coach/manager of the Women's Basketball Team

"Opportunity Programs is a life-changing organization that initially will push you further than you've ever been pushed, but then will embrace you and become your closest confidant during your college years."


Harsimran "Sim" Janjua ’14

Hometown: Woodside, N.Y.
Major: Psychology
Activities as a student: resident advisor, Black and Latin Student Union, South Asian Student Association, Rainbow Alliance, Sustah Girl, study abroad in New Zealand

“There are no words to describe how much I completely appreciate how much the Opportunity Programs has been there for me. Through each semester it's helped me gain confidence that I can do it and always supported me, even if it was with just a hug.”


Jimmy Nguyen ’14

Hometown: Medford, Mass.
Major: World Politics
Activities as a student: tour Guide, Office of Financial Aid student intern, Assistant Director of America Reads at Hamilton College, Rugby, Office of Admission Online Journal writer, Outreach Pre-Orientation leader, Admission Intern, Senior Gift committee

"There are times at Hamilton where friends, professors and academic advisors cannot help, where problems within these spheres need another resource of guidance. HEOP is this resource. Ms. Breland, Ms. Davis and Ms. Murphy have helped me transition from an easily ruffled pre-freshman hooligan to a more calm and composed member of the Hamilton community. Beyond all they have done for me academically, I know I can always rely on HEOP office because they are my second family."


Tori Morrow ’14

Hometown: Chicago, Ill.
Major: Classical Studies
Minor: Anthropology
Activities as a studentTour Guide, Diversity Recruitment Intern, Alpha Chi Lambda Sorority, Model UN, Voices of Color Lecture Series Co-Chair, Co-President of the Classics Club, Admission Intern

“The Opportunity Program is like a family, and four amazing women are the glue that holds us all together. I can’t speak highly enough of our mentors. They are my support system here at Hamilton, and their endless support and encouragement pushes me to never settle for less than my absolute best.”

Athina Chartelain ’13

Hometown: Brooklyn, N.Y.
Major: Communication
Minors: Education and Hispanic Studies
Activities as a student: Black and Latino Student Union, Communication Coordinator for  The Young People's Project, Christian Fellowship, Feminist of Color Collective, Sustah Girl, RA for Residential Life, Volunteer in Patient Advocacy at St. Elizabeth's hospital in Utica, Student Activities, Student Manager for Bristol Center, Project Shine, Diversity Overnight Recruitment Intern,  Academic Junior Year Study abroad in Madrid, Spain, Admissions Intern

"Think of the Opportunity Programs as a law firm and the wonderful ladies who work in it as lawyers: they advise and represents its clients (us students). Ms. Breland and Mrs. Davis advise us of our responsibilities as students and on making the most of our Hamilton experience. Mrs. Murphy helps us find opportunities for internships and scholarships, which we probably would not find on our own, and Mrs. Peckingham just pecks her way to find the best financial aid package for us. In essence these amazing women are our advocates: they fight for, support, and defends us. I am privileged and blessed to be apart of this program.  For me, the seeds have been planted, and  I am sowing the field. One day, I will reap the harvest. All thanks to these  dedicated and wonderful people who support me and have helped me build my foundation for everything great to come."


Redwan Saleh ’13

Hometown: Manhattan, N.Y.
Major: Government
Minor: History
Activities as a student: President of the Muslim Student Association, Brothers Organization member, South Asian Student Association (SASA) member, Oral Communications Tutor, Sadove/Student Activities Student Monitor, Intramural Soccer, and Admissions Intern

"The Opportunity Programs is a total support center. Whether we need a little bit of academic guidance, moral and social confidence, or simply a break to release some college related tensions----we come to the HEOP office. All the wonderful women in the office believe in me, give me confidence and a higher goal to strive to in college. With their prayers and unimaginable support, I have hope that I can make the future at least a bit more brighter."


Galia Slayen ’13

Hometown: Portland, Ore.
Majors: Chinese and Government
Activities as a student: Coordinator of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, COOP intern, Class of 1979 Travel Award Recipient to Guatemala, Kirkland Scholar, Travel abroad to China, Semester in DC program

"Opportunity Programs not only provides new students a foundation to grow from, but also becomes your family and support through the ups and downs of your college career."


Debbie Chen ’13

Hometown: New York, N.Y.
Major: Creative Writing
Minors: Math and Art
Activities as a student: HAVOC Site Coordinator/Co-Founder of Art at Johnson Park Center, College Math Literacy Worker through the Young People’s Project, Copy-Editor for The Spectator, Academic Center for Excellence Supervisor, Student Worker for the English Department and Diversity and Social Justice Project, Member of Sustah Girls, Performer in Believe in Broadway, Junior Semester Abroad at University College London, Summer Program Math Tutor, Participant in HamiltonExplore

"I cannot imagine life at Hamilton without the support of the Opportunity Programs staff. The staff works tirelessly to ensure we reach our highest potential by helping us develop skills we never knew we possessed. With the staff’s guidance, I have achieved so much, both academically and personally, at Hamilton and beyond."


Xiang Wang ’13

Hometown: Flushing, N.Y.
Major: Economics
Activities as a student: Resident Advisor, Oral Communications Center Peer Tutor, Photography Club, Equestrian Team, Intramural Soccer, Study Abroad in Sweden and Denmark, Intern in U.S. House of Representative Gary Ackerman's office

"This Opportunity Program at Hamilton is not only an amazing organization, but it is also my family. Everyone in this group respects, loves and helps each other. Our HEOP staffers are my advisors and my friends. They work hard every single day to make sure their students become better people in the future. This office is so supportive and thoughtful that I do not think I can enjoy myself so much without them. More importantly, the lifetime bonds we create with each other during our college careers will always hold us as a whole wherever we go."

Maria Peralta ’12

Hometown: Bronx, N.Y.
Major: Women's Studies

Activities as a student: Member of Womyn’s Center , BLSU, Sustah Girl, HAVOC volunteer – food salvage, USE leader - 3 years, Gates Scholar, Opportunity Programs Summer Resident Advisor, Junior semester in Amsterdam

Wrote and Implemented Teen Pregnancy Prevention Grant - summer 2009-10

“The Higher Education Opportunity Program has provided me and my peers with the assistance and encouragement to succeed at an elite institution like Hamilton. The staff is supportive and creates a family like atmosphere. The trust and relationships I built with the HEOP staff allowed me to ease in to my college experience. I always have support despite being miles away from home.”

Caitlin O’Dowd ’11

Hometown: Jordan, Oman, Tunisia, Syria, Israel, Egypt
Major: Women's Studies
Minor: Government
Activities as a student: Womyn's Center member, Sustah Girl member, Volunteer at Evelyn's House (Utica), Tutor for Young People's Project (Utica), HEOP Summer English Tutor

"I have spent most of my life overseas being the daughter of a diplomat and was particularly nervous about going to college in the United States as my immediate family still lives overseas. I was happy to get accepted into the Opportunity Program and it is because of this program that I made the final decision to come to Hamilton College.  This program helped me make one of the hardest transitions in my life thus far and has helped me grow and achieve things that two years ago seemed impossible.  The OPPORTUNITY to grow, change, learn, love and succeed are things that this program has given me and other students and I am very proud to be a part of something so great."

Temi Ojo ’11

Hometown: Chicago, Ill.
Major: Biology (Pre-Med)
Activities as a student: Cultural Chair of Black Latino Student Union, Hamilton College Cheerleading Team, Finesse Step Team, Sustah Girl Member, Studied abroad in Tanzania and Australia

"When I was in high school, I was a part of a program called LINK Unlimited that helped me grow and flourish in my academic and personal life. I wanted that same feeling, so when I got accepted into Hamilton's Opportunity Programs, I felt right at home. Coming from a place like Chicago to Clinton, New York was a a big culture shock. During the summer, the program works really hard to get you adjusted to the heavy work load and campus life. The people in the office are your big supporters on campus, and whenever I needed something or simple words of wisdom they were always there to help. They do not let you fail at anything. They do not only help with your academics, but they make sure you grow as a person. Many times I have heard in the Opportunity Programs Office, "If you don't make yourself be seen, then you won't be... Speak up!" I have carried that advice with me everywhere and I am eternally grateful to Opportunity Programs."

Ashlyn Razzo ’11

Hometown: Bronx, NY
Major: Theatre
Activities as a student: Untitled@Large Member; USE Leader; Assistant Athletic Trainer for Women's Soccer & Lacrosse teams; Tour Guide; Member of HAVOC; Overnight Host; Hamilton College Ambassador; HEOP Resident Advisor Summer Program

"Words can not express what it felt like to look out into the audience of the opening night of my first play at Hamilton and, mid-bow, see the ear-splitting grins of the four amazing women of the Opportunity Programs. These women are my friends, my advisors, my family, my everything. Without them, I don't know where I would be at Hamilton. One thing is for sure, I definitely would not have had half as many laughs and great memories had they not been in my life. They make life at Hamilton better than anything I could have every imagined and then some."

Amber Wheeless ’11

Hometown: Worland, Wyo.
Major: Religious Studies
Minor: Art History
Activities as a student: Womyn's Center, Rainbow Alliance, Project SHINE tutor, Emerson Collaborative Research Grant recipient, HEOP Summer Programs RA, Alternative Spring Break, Academic Center for Excellence supervisor, Wellin Hall tech crew, Travelled through SIT's study abroad program in New Delhi, India.

"The Opportunity Program is my support system and family here at Hamilton. My peers and mentors in the Program are here both to help me when I am struggling and to celebrate with me when I succeed. Being a part of the Opportunity Program encourages me to be the best version of myself by making me accountable for my own personal and academic excellence. I couldn't be more thankful for the resources and support the Program provides me with each and every day."

Sujitha Amalanayagam ’10

Hometown: Bronx, N.Y.
Major: Neuroscience
Activities: EMT (Emergency Medical Technician)- Three Years; EMT Crew Chief- junior year; Member of Emerson Literary Society (ELS); Member of Sustah Girls; Member of La Vanguardia

"Home away from home. Opportunity Programs is my social network and support system. It is a great feeling to know that you are not alone and that you have a family here at Hamilton to help you with anything you need."


Office / Department Name

Opportunity Program

Contact Name

Aaron Ray

Director of Opportunity Program

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