Abeer Alziadi

Abeer Alziadi has been able to adapt to her surroundings and achieve excellence wherever she’s been. Alziadi was born in Yemen and moved to the United States when she was 3 years old. Her family, which includes her parents and six siblings, settled in New York City.

Two months into her senior year of high school her family moved to Syracuse. Alziadi walked in the door at Henninger High School and found a friend in counselor Marinda Williams. “She helped me with everything. She helped me find my classes, she helped me learn which bus to take. I would have been lost without her.”

In June 2012 Alziadi became the first member of her family to earn a high school diploma. Thanks in large part to On Point for College, a resource Williams had told her about, Alziadi got the assistance she needed to apply and pay for college. Two months after graduating from high school Alziadi began taking classes at OCC.

Alziadi was at her third school in less than a year and in need of guidance. She found it in the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) located on the first floor of the Gordon Student Center. “My first semester I lived in the EOP office. Whenever I needed help there was always someone available. My time in the EOP office really impacted my grades in a positive way. It was where I was most comfortable.”

In December 2014 Alziadi earned her degree in Humanities and Social Sciences. She stayed at OCC for the spring 2015 semester and is taking four classes which will transfer with her to Syracuse University. Alziadi will major in Social Work as she continues to be inspired by the kindness of Williams who was her guiding light at Henninger. “Every minute I spent with her was so precious. I want to help people the way she helped me.”

Shannon LoBello

RESIZE Shannon LoBello for Succeeding @OCC 008Shannon LoBello is an adult learner who is constantly on the go. In between raising her 12-year-old daughter and working as a Medical Practice Manager in North Syracuse, she’s also majoring in Human Services and Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counseling at OCC. “As an adult learner and someone who works in a professional setting, I focus more and know what my responsibilities are. I want to prove it to myself I can do this. I’ve learned to make it all work between my job, my school work and raising my daughter.”

LoBello started taking classes at OCC in the spring 2012 semester. Two years later her hard work earned her induction into the College’s student honor society Phi Theta Kappa. “I owe much of my success here to Professor Kristen Brumfield (English/Reading/Communication). She has guided and shaped me as an adult student by taking the time to work with me and give me advice. As adult learners we can be set in our ways and sometimes it is hard for us to change or learn the proper way of writing.”

Her career goal is to own a counseling practice for mental health and addiction therapy. Her work will cover many aspects of care including mental health counseling, marriage family therapy, addiction medicine and social work. “We need people to advocate for this population. There aren’t enough treatment centers in the area for them. I want to change the face of how people view those with addictions. They’re not less than anyone else. They have a disease. I want to help people and give them a place to go. I also want to do pro bono work and give people the means to get treatment who can’t afford it.”