A group of Pine Manor College students got a lesson in public advocacy as they gathered at the Massachusetts State House with about 150 other students from colleges and universities across the state.
These students were there to rally for continued support of need-based financial aid, and to thank legislators for last year’s $3 million increase in such aid.
The room full of young advocates heard from Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Sen. Michael O. Moore, Rep. Tom Sannicandro, Rep. Evandro Carvalho, and Richard Doherty, president of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts (AICUM). Speaker DeLeo and Rep. Carvalho discussed the importance of student financial aid, and Sen. Moore and Rep. Sannicandro, Co-Chairs of the state’s Joint Committee on Higher Education, discussed their proposal for a significant financial aid funding increase.
The event provided an opportunity for legislators to meet face-to-face with the students receiving financial aid dollars. While attending this rally was an important part of advocating for continued support of need-based financial aid, it also gave these students a lesson in making their voices heard on issues that matter most.
Representing the college were PMC students: Tiffanie Rosario, Melanie Rosario, Berstley Laguerre, Adony Garcia, Gabriela Zapata, Claudia Charles and Liza Ortiz.
“Student Financial Aid Day was a wonderful experience that offered us the privilege to meet and talk to our State representatives. It was great to meet my state representative Robert A. Deleo and see how eager he was to continue to advocate for us – it meant a lot to me.” Said Pine Manor College student, Liza Ortiz, “This event served as a powerful outlet for me to get the word out about the importance of Massachusetts State programs in our ability to obtain a college education.”
Pine Manor Financial Aid administrators were excited to be there and support the students.
“Financial aid is critical to the futures of so many Massachusetts students, as was evidenced by the strong, enthusiastic turnout at this financial aid rally,” said Susan Gonzales, Assistant Director of Financial Aid, who attended the event. “College students across Massachusetts are the future of this state. Financial aid will help ensure that their future, and the future of Massachusetts, is a bright one.” said Vanessa Gomes, Enrollment and Financial Services Advisor.