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NBC's Today Profiles EOP Student Pacielly Morelo as she Starts her UAlbany Journey

ALBANY, N.Y. (July 13, 2017) -- For Pacielly Morelo, the University at Albany's Educational Opportunities Program is providing her with a way to pay back all of the sacrifices her parents made when the immigrated from Colombia to provide a better life for their children.

Pacielly and her brother have been raised in a single-parent household since she was 5 years old, when her mom passed away from cancer. That was also when her father, having given up on his own dreams to attend college to support his young family, made a promise to his children that they would go where he hadn't.

UAlbany incoming freshman Pacielly Morelo
Incoming freshman Pacielly Morelo

To help fulfill that promise, Pacielly has devoted herself to doing well in school and giving back to the community. She serves as a youth leader, a member of the youth government and a Y-scholar for the YMCA. She has devoted countless hours to serving as a role model for underprivileged children.

This fall, Pacielly will become the first person in her family to attend a four-year college. In doing so, she is fulfilling the dreams of her father — whom she calls her hero.

But her father would call Pacielly his hero, for all she has done to better herself and those around her. And now for her work, Pacielly is being recognized by NBC's Today Show, with a little help from JC Penney.

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A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.