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Media Advisory/Photo Opportunity

05/22/2006
Capital District EOC Hosts Graduation, Marks 40 Years of Service to Students, Region

CONTACT: Marilyn Shapiro (518) 273-1900 ext. 2226 or Jason McCord (518) 629-7180
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Monday, May 22, 2006

WHO: More than 500 graduates of the Capital District Educational Opportunity Center (EOC).
WHAT: Graduates will receive program certificates of completion from the EOC's academic, business, service, and technical programs.
WHEN:

6 p.m., Thursday, May 25, 2006

WHERE:

McDonough Sports Complex
Hudson Valley Community College
80 Vandenburgh Ave, Troy

DETAILS:

The following students are available to share their inspiring stories. Please call Marilyn Shapiro at (518) 273-1900, ext. 2226 to set up interviews.

Josette Von Fricken of Latham has been the chief caretaker for her mother and step-father, both of whom have multiple sclerosis, since she was a teenager. Von Fricken entered the Nursing Assistant Program to continue her mission to help those in need. She will graduate with her Nursing Assistant certification. She plans to earn her GED, and then attend Samaritan Hospital Nursing School for an RN degree.

When she turned 50, Nancy Bonesteel of Wynantskill realized that her job as a teacher's aide did not provide the income necessary for her to support her three children, so she enrolled in the EOC's Business Program. Her three sons have willingly made sacrifices this past year so that their mother could return to school, and they share her mother's pride in her accomplishment. Bonesteel has already passed both county and state civil service tests and is looking forward to working in the business field so she can utilize all the skills she learned at the EOC.

Carlos Riebeling of Cohoes was a stay-at-home dad when he saw a television advertisement for the Capital District Educational Opportunity Center. He always had an interest in cooking, so he decided to "regroup," and enrolled in the Culinary Program. Riebeling thrived in the program, whipping up delights like Baked Alaska. Upon completing Basic Culinary, he began working at Verdile's Restaurant, but continued on in the Advanced Culinary Program during the day, while working 40 hours a week at the restaurant. He now has a career in the field he loves.

The Capital District Educational Opportunity Center, a division of Hudson Valley Community College, is celebrating its 40th anniversary of providing vocational training, academic preparation programs, and job placement services to the Capital District and a seven-county area of New York.

Through education, intensive casework, and comprehensive employment services, eligible New York residents who are 16 years old and older are offered specific skills to gain employment, to succeed on the job, and to encourage ongoing personal and professional development.