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Liberty Rising Star Grad Aims for Success at UAlbany

June 11, 2009



Hayes Fields III will join UAlbany in the fall.

Hayes Fields III, credits the Liberty Partnerships Rising Stars Program with strengthening his study skills. Fields plans to major in mathematics and minor in art in the fall at UAlbany.  

When Hayes Fields III graduates from the Liberty Partnership Rising Stars Program on Friday, June 12, at the First Unitarian Universalist Church in Albany, it is with the knowledge that he has a bright future ahead of him at UAlbany.

Fields, a 2009 graduate of Bishop Maginn High School, joined the Liberty Partnership Rising Stars Program in 2006. The tutors at Liberty are from UAlbany, where Fields has been accepted as a freshman this fall. His tutors have helped him hone his study skills and he has taken honors classes.

"Liberty Partnerships is a great program that offers tutoring and a way to improve your study skills," said Fields, who lives in Albany. "School gives you that, but Liberty has volunteers who understand where you are coming from and what it really means to study."

Most of the tutors are from UAlbany, with several volunteers from Saint Rose and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.  The transition to college life may be easier for Fields, who already knows several UAlbany staff members and who has been to campus many times.

His long-term goals are to become an architectural engineer, graphic artist, or game designer. Fields is working on his own storyboard and characters with his brother for a game they hope to make in the future.

Fields chose UAlbany because, in addition to being close to home and affordable, it offers strong academic programs. He plans to major in mathematics and minor in art.

"Attending UAlbany will allow me to study the fields of my dreams," he said, adding that his parents have been staunch supporters of his academic goals.

Fields will be joined by fellow Liberty graduates Winston Trotman, Jr., Theodore Smart-Williams, Amani B. Franklin, William Chapple, Brandon Williams, Courtney Thomas, and Keeria Johnson at the graduation. The celebration begins at 6 p.m. at the church, 405 Washington Ave.


The Liberty Partnership Rising Stars Program is administered by the University at Albany's Center for Women in Government and Civil Society. 

The program is administered by UAlbany's Center for Women in Government and Civil Society, and meets in Draper Hall Mondays through Fridays from 3 to 6 p.m.

Liberty Partnerships graduates 20 students annually from the program with the help of UAlbany tutors and social work interns who provide supportive services and mentoring, said Director Candi M. Griffin-Jenkins.

"We are able to recruit approximately 40 students from the schools of Education and Social Welfare, and work-study students. These students are strong role models for our students and show them that anything is possible with hard work and commitment no matter what their personal challenges," said Griffin-Jenkins.

Yanira Colon is a second-year UAlbany Master of Social Work student who has been a tutor and mentor with Liberty since her freshman year at the University. "The Liberty Partnership program is not only an after-school program but a home and a second family to many of our students," said Colon. "I feel privileged to be part of such an amazing program."

The Rising Star program's mission is to encourage young women and men in grades 7-12 to achieve academic and personal excellence, gain leadership skills, obtain a high school diploma, pursue higher education, and train for the workforce. College tours, career exploration, and job shadowing are an integral part of the program.


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