Meet Danielle C.

CASP Student

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“CASP gave me everything I needed to succeed and a chance to help others. I made some really great friends.”

In the Collegiate Academic Support Program (CASP), Danielle Cartagenes found something special – people who cared about her as a student and a person.

Danielle shuffled through a short stint at a SUNY four-year college before landing at Hudson Valley in 2010. Recommended by a faculty member, she found her way to the CASP office in the college's Learning Assistance Center, located on the first floor of the Marvin Library Learning Commons. There she found what she called "an amazing community"—a welcoming place for students looking for academic help and a place to call home.

"CASP is more than a place to hang out on campus," Danielle said. "It gave me everything I needed to succeed at college and a chance to help others, as well. I made some really great friends."

She eventually became a peer mentor in the CASP program, helping her fellow students by just being able to listen without judgement. And she found a home at Hudson Valley in general; she was even inspired by her time in the program to start the Choir Club on campus with a friend.

Danielle graduated from Hudson Valley in 2013 but returned this fall to take some courses before she continues on to the University at Albany to earn her bachelor's degree in computer science. She's happy to be back at the college for the time being, and wants other students to know that they can create their own college experience at Hudson Valley, as she did.

"There are options!" she explained. "If there isn't a club for one of your interests, you can work to make one. The classes are small and teachers are willing to meet with you and help if you need it. That's one of the reasons I'm back."