Matthew Honeywell and Giavanna Sylvester have been chosen to represent OCC on the 2018 USA Today Phi Theta Kappa All-New York State Academic team. They will be honored at a recognition ceremony March 6 in Albany.
Honeywell grew up in the foster care system, survived abuse and was adopted at age 11. He graduated from West Genesee High School in 1989, served in the United States Navy and worked several jobs while trying to determine his career path. He enrolled in OCC in the spring of 2016, started as an Accounting major and switched to Human Services. He became an outstanding student and was inducted into honor society Phi Theta Kappa. Honeywell earned his degree in December 2017 at the age of 47.
He now attends SUNY Oswego with the goal of becoming a therapist for children in foster care, adopted children and their families. He also wants to work on policy issues related to adoption and change confidentiality laws which prevent children from searching for answers to questions as they try to find out about themselves. Honeywell has already accomplished his biggest goal in life. It’s something he gets to experience and enjoy every night when he goes home. “The one thing I always wanted more than anything else was my own family because I never had one. Even after I was adopted I never felt close to my adopted mom and dad.” Honeywell and his wife have a daughter and a son who is in his second semester at OCC.
Sylvester graduated from Fabius-Pompey High School in 2013, spent a year in New York City, then returned to Central New York to attend OCC. “It was the best decision for me because I wasn’t ready grade-wise to get into a four-year college. Class sizes were smaller and I got a lot of attention here.”
During her time on campus she was a member of honor society Phi Theta Kappa, Student Conversation Circles, the History Club and earned a degree in Humanities and Social Sciences. “All of the opportunities and experiences I had made my experience at OCC very fulfilling.”
Sylvester finished taking classes at OCC in the fall 2017 semester. She is now enrolled at Sierra Nevada College in Lake Tahoe where she is pursuing a degree in Psychology with the goal of becoming a counselor.
Congratulations to Matthew Honeywell and Giavanna Sylvester!