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Bronx native hopes to motivate others to seek education

By : Nicole Borawski


While growing up in the Bronx, Alvin Carter never dreamed about earning his doctorate, let alone going to college. When he was accepted into Binghamton’s Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), Carter saw it as a second — and final — chance to succeed.

Now, four years later, Carter will graduate with majors in political science, sociology and Africana studies, a minor in history and a newfound devotion to community service.
“I want to go back to my community and be a role model,” he said. “I’m passionate about picking a field and waking up every morning loving it because I’m helping people.”

Carter plans to pursue a doctorate in higher education and administration and one day serve as the director of a student affairs program.

He was a co-founder of a program called Setting the Road to Improvement Via Education, or STRIVE, during his freshman year. “I went to the Broome County Urban League and noticed educational inequalities, mainly with people of color,” he said. “So I thought, ‘Let’s start out small and lift the bar high and mentor kids to make sure they excel to higher education.’ Everyone is always talking about the problem but never doing anything about it.”

Through STRIVE, Carter and 15 other Binghamton students have brought 25 to 30 high school students to events on campus to expose them to the college atmosphere. Carter hopes he’ll eventually be able to bring STRIVE to New York City youths.

Carter is also the president of the Thurgood Marshall Pre-Law Society and Chi Alpha Epsilon national honor society and a senior counselor for the U-TURN program and EOP summer program.

Vanessa Young, senior associate director of EOP, said Carter is a dynamic student who takes initiative in school and extracurricular activities. “He has great interpersonal skills and is sensitive to the needs of others,” she added.

Carter attributes his motivation to a good support system. “I surround myself with people who love to achieve,” he said. “Growing up in an inner city, the motivation was not there, and I did what I had to do to get by.”

Carter’s acceptance into Binghamton’s EOP opened the door to many opportunities for him. His older sisters Darlene and Kimberly graduated from the University too. Darlene ’04 double majored in biology and psychology, while Kimberly ’05 majored in psychology and is working in nursing.

One of Carter’s role models is James H. Pogue, director of EOP. “He is my mentor who I go to for advice and help with STRIVE,” Carter said. “Dr. Pogue is a strong person who helped with my social development in college.”

Carter enjoys engaging in social and cultural discussions, spending time with family and friends, singing, listening and writing music and running. “I can’t wait for graduation,” he said, “because it will be my biggest achievement and prove that I have managed to balance academic and community engagements.”

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Last Updated: 10/14/08