Part of the Vincentian
Institute for Social Action (VISA), the Advantage Academy was
created through a partnership with St. John’s University and New
York City’s Department
of Homeless Services (DHS). This ground-breaking degree
program offers associate degrees to homeless and formerly homeless
individuals through the College of Professional Studies.
In 2011, the Advantage Academy granted associate degrees in
business administration to its inaugural class of 13 graduates this
past May. The program has already made a positive difference in the
lives of New Yorkers who once had little hope of attending
Today, many of those graduates are now gainfully employed or
planning to continue their education. “It’s been a real blessing,”
said Megan Gonzalez ‘11CPS, a member of the Academy’s first
graduating class. “Thanks to the support I received in the Academy,
I have the confidence and the credentials of a college degree.”
After earning her associate’s degree in May, the 20-year-old
Academy graduate began applying for managerial positions. She
secured a position as an assistant manager at a T-Mobile store in
Philadelphia, where she has her own apartment.
Other Academy graduates have secured managerial positions with
retail giants such as Target and Starbucks.
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