Educational Opportunity Program

Student Success Stories

Youssouf Gabriel Bellamy

Youssouf Gabriel Bellamy
California State University Northridge

When I began college, I embarked on a journey, which at the time seemed daunting, nebulous, and even unfathomable. With the encouragement of family, mentors, esteemed faculty and friends, over the years, I was able to persevere not only because of their support, but because I had set my goals high. Despite the challenges I faced in pursuit of a Bachelors and Masters degree, I worked unremittingly to achieve my ambitions, allowing potential "obstacles", to become lessons I would eventually overcome. Of all, the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), supported me throughout the journey, and as an EOP student, and later as an academic mentor for the program, I was able to find my voice. With the sound words and prophetic advice of EOP staff, faculty, and advisors, I was able to transform from an eager, timid, yet driven pupil, into a focused, confident, and determined scholar.

To all of the students I have mentored, and continue to mentor, I can say that the road that lies ahead will be challenging. In pursuit of a higher education, all of obstacles are designed, to test your commitment to the endeavor of academia. It is up to you to transform those challenges faced, into circumstances that teach you a valuable lesson, which will ultimately make you stronger. EOP inspired this transformation within myself, and if you truly utilize the program and the opportunities that it provides, it will do the same for you.

Read personal stories of extraordinary drive, persistence, and commitment, from these CSU students who stand as examples of the success of the CSU Educational Opportunity Program: