Congratulations to our College Opportunity Program graduates! Four COP students recently donned the cap and gown and crossed the stage to receive their undergraduate or graduate degrees.

Amy Halder graduated cum laude from the Honors College of University of Illinois at Chicago with a Bachelor of Science in neuroscience. For her capstone, she worked on a project with the UIC School of Public Health titled, “Prenatal Care and Pregnancy Outcome: a data analysis of mothers and newborns in Bangladesh.” During her years as an undergraduate, she received the Chancellor’s Undergraduate Research Award, served as co-president for the pre-medicine group, and volunteered at Community Health, a free clinic where she assisted physicians and assessed patients’ interpreter needs. Amy recently accepted a job at the University of Chicago where she works as a research assistant with the Pancreatic Cancer Initiative. She plans to continue gaining patient care experience and to pursue medicine.

Monique Johnson recently completed her Masters of Arts in clinical mental health counseling at Wheaton College. She spent the last year interning at Outreach Community Counseling Center and will start working as a therapist at Leyden Family Service and Mental Health Center in June.

Phillip McClure graduated from Duke University with a major in English, a minor in economics and a certificate in journalism. He interned in the marketing department at Microsoft last summer, and he will start working at the company this fall. He kept busy during his college years by acting, directing and serving as the school mascot.

Yadira Valerio graduated from Aurora University with a degree in general studies. At AU, she served as a Spartan Ambassador, in which she represented the campus to prospective students, and worked three jobs in the offices of admissions, catering and student activities. This June, she starts work as a camp counselor at Lake Geneva Youth Camp in Wisconsin.

Gigi Nyesoah, senior high and College Opportunity Program coordinator, attended all local graduations.