Monday, April 21, 2014

Meet Courtney Volturno, Our Newest AOP Counselor!

What attracted you to SUNY Geneseo and the AOP Department?

Having graduated from SUNY Geneseo, I know how great the college is from first-hand experience.  I feel that I obtained an outstanding education that prepared me for both my graduate studies and career.  I also had the chance to meet some wonderful friends and faculty/staff and make many fond memories.

In my former role as a post-secondary program coordinator for a non-profit agency in Rochester, I worked with high school students in the Rochester City School District to prepare them for college.  Through this position, I taught students about EOP/HEOP and helped them apply to their schools of choice through the programs.  Many of my students were accepted to their colleges through EOP or HEOP and when I would see them or speak with them after high school graduation, they all said they were doing so well in their colleges thanks to the support of their EOPs/HEOPs.  I knew I had to be a part of such an important program and support students at the next level of education.

How did you get to where you are in terms of your career?
It was interesting…  When I graduated from Geneseo with a major in sociology and a minor in psychology, I was not quite sure what I was going to do.  I heard about a job at Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection (HW-SC) from a friend and decided to apply.  Instantly, I knew it was a great fit.  I had a caseload of approximately 30 high school students at-risk of dropping out that I mentored and connected to various resources.  My interest in working with students in a school setting, but not as a teacher, was confirmed.  As I continued to work with students, I learned that I specifically liked working with the juniors and seniors teaching them about college planning and how to be successful in college.  That interest lead to my most recent role at HW-SC as a post-secondary program coordinator.  From there, as mentioned above, I fell in love with EOP/HEOP and was fortunate to have the chance to join the AOP family at Geneseo in March.

Additionally, while I was working at HW-SC, I had the opportunity to earn my M.S. in Human Development from the Warner School of Education at the University of Rochester.  Although working and attending school was intense at times, I wouldn’t have chosen to complete my Master’s degree any other way.  I loved that I could bring my experiences from the job into the classroom and my classroom knowledge to work the very next day.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
My favorite thing to do in my spare time is to hang out with my friends and family.  I also like to try to be active – I especially love walking and am always up for a good walk.   Don’t be surprised if I ask you to go on a walk one of these days.

What are some of your pet peeves (i.e., what kinds of things really annoy you)?
People who are disrespectful – to other people, to places, to things, etc.  There is no need for it.  

Do you have a motto you try to live your life by?
“The happiest people don’t have the best of everything, they make the best of everything.”  Growing up, adults – my parents, teachers, coaches, etc. – always seemed to be talking about the importance of attitude.  Their messages didn’t sink in until I started really noticing how different people react to the same or similar situations.  People with a positive attitude who “turn their lemons into lemonade” seem to achieve the most and get the most enjoyment out of life.

What are you looking forward to most this summer?
Getting married!  And relaxing on the honeymoon with my new husband after all of the work of planning the wedding!

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