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Mateo Franco

Franco ’24 Named SUNY Ambassador

ILR sophomore Mateo Franco has been selected as an Educational Opportunity (EOP) Program Student Ambassador.

The new program at SUNY has named 20 current EOP students to the inaugural ambassador class to mentor other students, create a support network of EOP students across the SUNY System, advise SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras on strengthening the program, and help recruit more students into EOP.

“The Educational Opportunity Program at SUNY changes lives—I’ve seen it firsthand, as has anyone who has met or worked with an EOP student,” Malatras said. “This important new initiative deepens our commitment to EOP by giving students from disadvantaged backgrounds critical peer-to-peer mentoring, enhanced networking opportunities with EOP students from across the SUNY system, and bringing their voices to the table so we can develop the support they need to succeed in college and beyond.”

Franco, who is part of the program as a mentee, said “being a part of EOP not only introduced me to kind-hearted mentors that provide me with knowledge of resources and opportunities, but it also introduced me to new friends here on campus.”

In addition to his new role as a mentor with EOP, Franco works as a statistics tutor at the ILR School and serves as a peer mentor at the university. Prior to arriving at Cornell, he held a five-month internship, serving as an assistant to New York State Assembly staff members.

“Becoming the new EOP ambassador is both a way to thank the lovely people in EOP for helping me with my college career and a way to hopefully spread that love with other students,” Franco said. “I hope during my time as an ambassador, I can increase knowledge of our presence in order to invite more people into our welcoming community!”

Since its inception in 1967, the EOP has provided access, academic support, and supplemental financial assistance to students from disadvantaged backgrounds, many of whom are the first in their families to attend college. In its 53-year history, the EOP has served more than 77,000 students and evolved into one of the country's most successful college access programs.

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