Mayor’s CUNY application fee waiver aids low-income students

Proud CUNY graduates.

Proud CUNY graduates joyously celebrate the culmination of years of hard work and grit.

The decision by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to waive the $65 fee for low-income students applying to the City University of New York (CUNY) is a good first step in the right direction.

When CUNY was first established, it was free and the institution has produced many scholars, Nobel Peace Prize winners, entrepreneurs, politicians and graduates who have excelled in every field imaginable. Over the years, CUNY’s fee structure has priced out the very population it was designed to help—low-income, immigrant, ambitious students who lack financial support.

CUNY-students-purposefully-stride-to-class-while-others-mill-around-to-socialize

While some CUNY students-purposefully stride to class, others mill around to socialize.

Flanked by CUNY representatives on Monday, September 26, Mayor de Blasio announced that low-income students, who come from a family of three, earning $37,000 or less per year, are eligible for the fee waiver.

“$65 matters,” to these families, the mayor said, adding, “This is something that we think is going to make a big difference.”

CUNY has produced notable graduates spanning every profession.

CUNY has produced notable graduates spanning every profession.

He is correct. Low-income students, including those who are homeless, products of the foster care system, or otherwise deemed to be at risk of falling through the cracks, should not be priced out of public colleges.

CUNY, the largest public university system in the country, enrolls a significant number of graduating high school students each year. By making it possible for low-income students to apply to CUNY, free of charge, the mayor is giving vulnerable students a chance to participate in higher education, which is a good first step towards a sold future.–OnPointPress.net— 

 

Co-op City’s 10/1 college fair features NASA speaker

college-fair

By Carmen Glover

Co-op City in the Bronx, New York City’s largest residential development housing more than 65,000 residents, is doing its part to make college and career information accessible to its residents. Longtime social worker and Co-op City board member Evelyn Turner is hosting an annual college and career fair on Saturday, October 1, 2016 at Dreiser Auditorium, 177 Dreiser Loop, Bronx, NY, 10475. A guest speaker from NASA will address the attendees at 1:00 p.m.

Registration for students in grades three through six begins at 9:00 a.m. and those students will receive information and guidance between the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. Registration for students in grades seven through 12 begins at 11:30 a.m. and they will be seen from 12:30 p.m to 3;30 p.m.

For more information contact Evelyn Turner at 917-324-1033 or email: EvelynTinez@aol.com.–OnPointPress.net–

Having health insurance before emergency strikes is crucial

People rarely plan for hospital stays. Unfortunate incidents and illnesses force hundreds into the hospital on a daily basis. Are you prepared?

People rarely plan for hospital stays. Unfortunate incidents and illnesses force hundreds into the hospital on a daily basis. Are you prepared?

By Charles Glover, Jr.

If there is one lesson to take away from the month of October, which emphasized  Breast Cancer, Domestic Violence and Mental Health Awareness, it is that being proactive and prepared can save your life. Yet, how do you prepare for an accident, illness, violence, or natural disasters? While we pray for those harshly affected by Hurricane Patricia, it serves as a reminder that there is only so much we can plan for.

 

The job of a qualified insurance agent is to educate families and individuals about the potential pitfalls that exist in most insurance plans and help fill those gaps. Hospital indemnity plans and accident plans are the most common forms of protection that provide benefits directly to the insured in case of accident or illness, in many cases.

When you meet with your insurance agent, make sure you read the fine print in your insurance plan and ask many questions.

When you meet with your insurance agent, make sure you read the fine print in your insurance plan and ask many questions.

When a person is hurt or critically ill, the only thing they should have to worry about is healing. Unfortunately, healthcare costs can become an albatross resulting in substantial financial loss and, in many cases, bankruptcy.

As open enrollment continues, be sure to read the fine print on your health insurance plans and ask your insurance advisor as many questions as possible. There are plans to help those who have to go the hospital for a wide range of reasons including cancer, domestic violence, heart attack, stroke, slip and fall and mental health issues. Make sure you plan ahead so that when disaster strikes, the only concern is healing as soon as possible.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr., your Insurance Advisor, is a senior writer at OnPointPress.net and a Licensed Insurance Professional working with HealthMarkets. 

Contact me directly at (470)755-9940 for your health insurance questions and concerns

 

Oakland nonprofit hosts inaugural event giving students laptops

 

st

Students are able to complete projects on the go with laptops.

Oakland, CA, November 8, 2015 – Oakland-based nonprofit Andrew Fluegelman Foundation, which was established in 2011, purchased over 50 new MacPro laptop computers for deserving college-bound students from the Oakland area. To raise funds for more computers and computer skills training, the Foundation is hosting its first annual Oakland Holiday Reggae Party & Fundraiser on December 6, at Kingston 11 Cuisine, 2270 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, CA 94612. The event will begin at 6:00 p.m.

“We want to send more of these future community leaders off to college with new laptops,” said Fluegelman Founder David Bunnell, “because having a personal state-of-the-art laptop levels the playing field for students who otherwise have to share library computers.”

Student proudly hold her laptop.

Student proudly hold her laptop.

The foundation also offers students free computer skills training and visitations to leading technology companies including Google and Twitter. Tickets for the event cost $100, which can be purchased at reggaeparty.brownpapertickets.com. The event will feature live reggae entertainment from Ryan the Operator & Reggae All-Stars, dancing, sweet & savory Jamaican treats, complimentary champagne and valet parking.

The Andrew Fluegelman Foundation was established in the memory of our friend, Andrew Cardozo Fluegelman. The high tech genius was a publisher, photographer, programmer and attorney, best known as a pioneer of what is now known as the shareware business model for software marketing. He was also the founding editor of both PCWorld and MacWorld magazines, and leader of the 1970’s New Games movement, which advocated the development of noncompetitive games.

Fluegelman, who died in 1986, believed that owning a personal computer can permanently change a person’s life for the better. In keeping with his vision, we award new MacPro laptop computers to college-bound minority students based on need, achievement, and a commitment to a better tomorrow. A link to the application for the 2015-2016 school year will be available in January, 2016 on our Facebook page: facebook.com/AndrewFluegelman.–OnPointPress.net–

3 Tips to regain focus and achieve unmet 2015 goals

The difference between success and failure is often the impetus to take the first step.

The difference between success and failure is often the impetus to take the first step.

By Carmen Glover

For many individuals, life involves trying to balance a myriad of responsibilities–at work, at home and in the community. Too often, this forces us to put goals that are important to us on the back burner, as we try to navigate coping with more pressing matters.

But as we enter into the month of November, this is an opportune time to reflect on what we have achieved so far this year, and make plans to achieve the unmet goals we set for 2015. Have you found yourself in a rut, unable to move forward? Here are three quick tips to reclaim your balance, recapture your focus and tackle unmet goals:

It is easy to list goals but much harder to stay focused enough, all year long, and achieve them.

It is easy to list goals but much harder to stay focused enough, all year-long, and achieve them.

Celebrate your Achievements: We are usually our own worst critics. Sometimes we beat ourselves down mercilessly, making it difficult for us to feel inspired. Instead of focusing on the list of things that you failed to achieve so far this year, write down all the goals you have achieved. Reflect on your journey towards achieving those goals. Celebrate those achievements. Savor the sense of pride that you feel for accomplishing those goals despite the obstacles that your faced along the way.

Revisit your Action Plan: Now that you are able to accept the reality that you achieved some of your goals, ask yourself what other goals you would like to achieve before the end of the year and why that is important to your psyche. Explore strategies that you will use to get to the finish line. Write down different paths you can take, various supportive networks you will tap and the first step you are prepared to take, today, to move the plan forward.

The key to achieving goals consistently is being focused, so that if you take detours or long breaks in between, you can find follow the signs towards the finish line.

The key to achieving goals consistently is being focused, so that if you take detours or long breaks in between, you can find follow the signs towards the finish line.

Break the Goals into Smaller Steps: Do not become consumed with the range of tasks you need to complete in order to fully achieve the goal. It is more practical to break the goals into a series of small steps, and celebrate each achievement as it is made. For instance, if the goal is to improve your credit score by 50 points but you refuse to look at your account statements or speak to your creditors, a great first step would be to gather all your statements into one pile.

A second step could entail calling all of the creditors to get an accurate sum of what is owed. A third step would be to write down the balance owed to each creditor. A final step could be making a decision to speak with a financial advisor to get some valuable guidance, speaking directly to the creditors to explain your situation and develop a payment plan, or hiring a credit repair company to consolidate your debts and establish a reasonable repayment schedule. None of these methods will improve your credit score immediately, but they will provide the foundation that will change your financial picture incrementally, which in turn will improve your credit profile, over time.

So stop procrastinating. Take the first step today towards achieving your goals. Stay focused. You can do it!–OnPointPress.net–

 

Lamar Odom’s cry for help illustrates value of mental health care, coverage

There is a greater emphasis on recognizing and receiving treatment for issues such as grief, anxiety, and depression, all of which fall under the umbrella of mental health.

There is a greater emphasis on recognizing and receiving treatment for issues such as grief, anxiety, and depression, all of which fall under the umbrella of mental health.

Lamar Odom is in critical condition in a Las Vegas hospital after reportedly losing consciousness while indulging in a weekend filled with drugs, all while battling untreated mental illness.

Lamar Odom is in critical condition in a Las Vegas hospital after reportedly losing consciousness while indulging in a weekend filled with drugs, all while battling untreated mental illness.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

As people flock to social media to offer prayers for former NBA star Lamar Odom, who won two championships with the LA Lakers and is now fighting for his life in a Las Vegas hospital, his struggles with drug addiction and untreated mental illness have surfaced.

 

Mental Health Awareness week was October 5 – 10, but the importance of receiving the necessary treatment for mental health issues cannot be understood in a week. There have been concerted efforts by many advocates and associations to preach the significance of addressing issues that impact mental health and encourage individuals to seek help, instead of suffering in silence.

Mental Health awareness week may have just ended but the issue of dealing with mental health issues is a daily struggle for many.

Mental Health Awareness Week just ended but the issue of dealing with mental health issues is a daily struggle for many.

One of the major impediments to receiving mental health treatment is the perception that the treatment is too expensive.

Many people are unaware that most health insurance plans now include mental health care as part of the basic plan. In fact, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, mental health can no longer be used to exclude individuals from coverage.

new adAccording to Healthcare.gov, “all Marketplace plans cover mental health and substance abuse services as essential health benefits.”
All healthcare plans must cover:
•Behavioral health treatment, such as psychotherapy and counseling
•Mental and behavioral health inpatient services
•Substance use disorder (commonly known as substance abuse) treatment

These inclusions are designed to reduce the financial impact of receiving treatment for many issues that fall under the umbrella of mental health. Among those issues that qualify as mental health concerns are grief, anxiety, and depression as well as other more severe diagnoses.

A list of diagnoses covered under mental health.

A list of diagnoses covered under mental health.

The other huge impediment to receiving mental health treatment is the stigma many feel is associated with being diagnosed with a mental illness.

This concern is recognized as being a considerable problem in the African-American community which is why education and awareness is so vital with this issue. Untreated mental health conditions can lead to suicidal and homicidal thoughts and actions.

Acknowledging that there are personal problems that are beyond your understanding is a good step in the right direction. The next step is to contact your insurance advisor and make sure you have a plan in place to deal with mental health concerns.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr., your Insurance Advisor, is a senior writer at OnPointPress.net and a Licensed Insurance Professional working with HealthMarkets. 

Contact me directly at (646)309-1938 for your health insurance questions and concerns

Health insurance is highlighted during Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Many people are unaware of the costs associated with fighting cancer. Take the time to learn how you can be prepared for the worst case scenario.

Many people are unaware of the costs associated with fighting cancer. Take the time to learn how you can be prepared for the worst case scenario.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

The bombardment of neon pink on your television screens and in your neighborhoods is a reminder that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The goal is to encourage everyone to be proactive and visit their doctors to try and prevent cancer growth, in addition to helping fund research for cures for cancer.

ad small

The desired goal is to prevent cancer from spreading by having it detected as soon as possible, but there are too many people who still have to cope with that dreadful diagnosis. While many have become aware of the physical toll a cancer diagnosis can have on a family, the financial toll should not be understated.

Let Breast Cancer Awareness Month be a reminder to be proactive with your health and plan for your family's future.

Let Breast Cancer Awareness Month be a reminder to be proactive with your health and plan for your family’s future.

This fall, when you speak to your health insurance agent, ask about ways you can be protected if you or a family member is diagnosed with cancer. Many people do not realize that most health insurance plans only offer limited assistance in case of diagnosis of cancer. For many people, the cost for a second opinion, experimental treatment, or treatment at the best facilities in this country becomes an out of pocket expense.

The unfortunate reality is that there are countless people who have had to use all of their savings, borrow money, sell their possessions or their homes, to fund their recovery efforts. However, there are very affordable plans available to assist individuals and families faced with fighting cancer. So while you’re wearing your pink in acknowledgement of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, remember to contact your insurance advisor and protect your finances and health at the same time.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr., your Insurance Advisor, is a senior writer at OnPointPress.net and a Licensed Insurance Professional working with HealthMarkets.  Contact me directly at (646)309-1938 for your health insurance questions and concerns

3 Health Insurance tips to prepare for open enrollment after job loss

new ad

By Charles Glover, Jr.

Adults confront many challenging options in trying to maximize income and secure adequate health insurance coverage to protect their families. Yet the issue of healthcare extends beyond receiving the best care, it includes paying for those services. After a life-altering event, such as a job loss, preparation and proactive measures are essential to proper healthcare planning, especially as the November 1 start of the open enrollment period looms.

In the state of Georgia there are hundreds of people dealing with job losses each week. This has a serious impact on each individual in the household and raises many concerns because unresolved healthcare needs can be stressful, and many people find themselves scrambling for solutions. If you or someone you know has recently lost their job and need health insurance coverage, follow these steps:

Losing your job is beyond stressful as it can make it difficult to deal with basic needs. Talking to a healthcare professional can help ease those medical concerns.

Losing your job is stressful and makes it difficult to provide for your family’s basic needs. Talking to a healthcare professional can help ease medical concerns.

1. Assess the immediate health needs of the family.
Some medical issues are more pressing than others so it important to know what medical concerns need to addressed first. This knowledge will help narrow your search for the proper care and coverage.


2. Speak with a licensed insurance professional.
Many people have familiarity with health insurance, but there are plenty of nuances that exist within the complexity that is the healthcare system. Speaking with a professional is akin to meeting with an accountant during tax season. It much more likely that all of the concerns of the family, including the need for supplemental and life insurance, are addressed.

3. Have a budget set aside to address medical needs.
Employment status aside, healthcare needs can be stressful, especially if there are concerns related to paying for medical services. Unfortunately, many people will not receive the proper medical attention they need because they think they cannot afford it. A meeting with an insurance professional can help ease the expected financial burden by exploring the most affordable coverage for the family.

ad smallHealthcare concerns are heightened when someone loses a job but it is important to remember that without your health nothing else is possible. In addition to these tips, learn about supplemental and life insurance when you speak with a licensed professional. Affordable healthcare can be just a phone call away. Part two of this series continues next week.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr., your Insurance Advisor, is a senior writer at OnPointPress.net and a Licensed Insurance Professional working with HealthMarkets.

Contact me directly at (646)309-1938 for your health insurance questions and concerns.

 

 

Are sororities, fraternities defined by hazing, death, and cover-up?

Chung 'Michael' Deng

Chun ‘Michael’ Deng, a student at CUNY’s Baruch College, was hazed to death by fraternity members at a rental property in the Poconos.

The announcement that up to 37 members of the Asian fraternity Pi Delta Psi will be charged in the murder of Baruch College freshman, Chun “Michael” Deng 19, offers little solace to his heartbroken family. Deng lost his life when he was beaten by members of the Pi Delta Psi fraternity in a hazing ritual, at a rental property in the Poconos, miles from his college campus of Manhattan, New York.

ad small

On Tuesday, September 15, police officials in Pennsylvania announced a litany of charges, including third-degree murder, assault, hazing and criminal conspiracy. But the fact that the culprits were charged with a gamut of crimes stands as a firm reminder to incoming freshmen at colleges across the nation.

Robert Champion, a member of the FAMU marching band, was hazed to death in pursuit of 'brotherhood."

Robert Champion, a member of the FAMU marching band, was hazed to death in pursuit of ‘brotherhood” in 2011.

At this stage of the college semester, students are settling into their classes, dormitory rooms and cliques. Many are considering pledging to different sororities and fraternities, lured by the ‘bond’ of sisterhood or brotherhood.

But before taking the plunge, it is wise for impressionable college students to conduct extensive research about hazing, many of which occurs covertly or ‘underground,’ which means that although the college, sorority and fraternity leaders verbally state that they do no tolerate the practice, off the record many of them not only support the deadly practice, they participate in the hazing activities themselves.

Victoria Carter, a freshman at East Carolina University, died trying to pledge to the Delta Sigma Theta sorority.

Victoria Carter, a freshman at East Carolina University, died trying to pledge to the Delta Sigma Theta sorority in 2010.

Every year, there are reports of college students losing their lives as they blindly try to pledge allegiance to sororities and fraternities for the bond that these groups purportedly provide. And with each death, comes the ritualistic cover-up from the groups’ leaders, as they cowardly try to preserve the reputations of their groups, at the expense of their innocent victims. So before you are lured by the alleged glamour associated with joining a fraternity or sorority, conduct extensive research on hazing deaths: It could save your life–OnPointPress.net.

SPISE, Caribbean STEM program, hosted successful session

Students participated in another session of SPISE in the Caribbean, learning about STEM careers.

Students participated in another session of SPISE in the Caribbean, learning about STEM careers.

Bridgetown, Barbados, 8/24/2015: Student Program for Innovation in Science and Engineering, SPISE, a division of the Caribbean Science Foundation, hosted another successful four-week session at the University of the West Indies’ Barbados, campus. The session ended on August 14.

This year, 18 students from Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago were selected from 66 applicants. The SPISE students were challenged with classes that included university-level calculus, physics, biochemistry, entrepreneurship and Mandarin, and hands-on projects in under-water robotics and renewable energy/electronics.

SPISE is intended to nurture and groom the next generation of technology entrepreneurs in the Caribbean, in an effort to assist with the economic developmental issues facing the region. SPISE not only achieves this through the subjects offered, but also through career seminars which give the students more awareness of the tremendous diversity of science-related jobs and careers.

In addition, SPISE offers workshops which coach the students on how to optimize their chances of admission with financial aid to the world’s top universities. As a consequence, students from previous SPISE classes are now studying at top universities, including Stanford, MIT, Harvard, Columbia, University College London, University of North Carolina, Florida Institute of Technology, Trent University and UWI.

SPISE concluded with final project presentations by the students and the event was open to the public. The audience included: Dr. DeLisle Worrell, governor of the Central Bank of Barbados; Barbados’ Minister of Labor, Social Security and Human Resources Development, Dr. Esther Byer; Ms. Jacqui Cuke of the Sandy Lane Charitable Trust; Dr. Tony Rossomando of Alexion Pharmaceuticals; Roger Beckles of Emera Caribbean; Jeff Barrus of the United States Embassy for Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean and the OECS; other business professionals and several parents of the students.

During the event, the robotics, renewable energy, and entrepreneurship projects were showcased, and for the Mandarin presentation, the students sang “Jasmin Flower” in Mandarin (one of the most popular and mainstream traditional Chinese folk songs) which speaks out against corruption by praising the fair and pure Jasmin. The robotics projects required the SPISE scholars to build a basic model of an under-water robot, and then to use innovation and creativity to endow it with movable arms that could collect balls in a water-filled tank.

For the renewable energy presentation, wind turbines were built by student teams, each with its own unique blade design. The designs competed against each other as the audience got excited and involved in how different blade designs affected the effectiveness of wind turbines in producing electricity. The entrepreneurship class concluded with a business plan competition in which groups of students pitched their unique and personalized product and business plan to the audience.

Several members of the audience were given CSF money to invest in the team of their choice, and the winner was decided by the amount of money invested. The products conceived by the students include a portable handheld printer; Haztag, a GPS device to locate any household or miscellaneous object; a wrist band to replace intrusive diabetes monitors; malleable shoes that harden as they are put on but soften when off for easy storage; a component for portable computer and communications devices to allow for built-in projection; and a mobile app to write essays for you on-the-go.

Please visit the SPISE page for more information about the program, or contact Prof. Cardinal Warde at warde.csf@gmail.com or 1-617-699-1281. The CSF is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organization with headquarters in Barbados and representatives in several other Caribbean countries. Key partners in the SPISE are the University of the West Indies Cave Hill campus, the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) and Sagicor. Donations to SPISE can be made here. The cost of sponsorship for each student is US$ 6,000 per student plus airfare.–OnPointPress.net