Yahayra (Yaya) Colon

Yahyra Colon
New York, NY
Year of Graduation

After Oneonta

Yahayra graduated in May 2019 and immediately landed a job as a customs and border patrol officer with the Department of Homeland Security.

Why Oneonta

Because I was a good student who was living in New York City, I was able to enter the accelerated high school program at Columbia University. It helped me prepare for entering college. I began to learn more about financial aid and absorbed everything that the people who supported me had to share. Unfortunately, my grades were too high and my mom made just a little bit too much (she works two jobs) to qualify for certain financial aid.

That’s when I learned about SUNY Oneonta’s EOP/ACE program—Access to College Excellence. It provides additional services and support to students who are academically and financially disadvantaged and who have the desire and potential to earn a college degree. And the best part? The eligibility required applicants to be the first in their family to obtain a college degree. When I discovered this, not only did I believe that I would attend college, I knew I would attend SUNY Oneonta!

My Activities

Career Development ambassador, senior student manager for the Office of Equity and Inclusion

Favorite Courses

Interrogation and Forensic Mental Health

Opportunities I’ve had at Oneonta

I was able to intern at the University of North Carolina in the Criminal Justice Department, researching crime analytics. While there, I also worked with the Charlotte Police Department’s forensics lab. This semester, I am interning in Chicago with the Illinois State Police.

Dreams, goals, plans

I thought about training as a Marine, but I knew my real passion was to work for the FBI in forensic science.  My dream job is to be a federal agent. After Oneonta, I plan to apply for a master’s program and hopefully attend the University of New Haven program in forensic technology with a certification in national security.

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