The class of 2024 is comprised of 8 bright scholars that showed promise to succeed at Marymount Manhattan College. Despite joining the HEOP community virtually, these students quickly connected and created meaningful friendships. During the Summer Academic Institute, they developed their professional, academic, and communication skills while being faced with unique obstacles and fully online learning. Despite the challenges, they were able to excel and begin their collegiate journey at MMC.
This years summer program theme was: Aṣẹ and HACE. HACE is an acronym that stands for History, Advocacy, Community, and Empowerment. Aṣẹ is a philosophical concept from West Africa that means to create the power to make things happen and produce change. In addition, HACE also means to do or does in Spanish. Both variations are symbolic of creating and acting on change. During the summer program, the cohort attended segments led by HEOP faculty discussing HACE and its importance during today’s racial political and social climate. As a cohort, students frequently made connections and applied these segments into their everyday lives. The cohort was able to draw connections with Aṣẹ to their educational lives, as a group they came up with the concept that one of the ways to make a change within their communities is to seek higher education. As a group, the students explored the HEOP program in totality, and discussed it’s important to them, and why Ase resonated with HEOP. The cohort was able to establish that HEOP’s goal aligned with Ase because of its goal to produce change and fix the disparity between marginalized communities and higher education. Overall the cohort of 24’ grasped the concept of Ase, and practice it throughout their academic, professional, and personal lives.