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L to R – Shareen Alom, Colleen Lauer, Cerrwida Brown

The Canisius Opportunity Programs for Education (COPE) has been providing support to students from underrepresented backgrounds since 1970.  The department currently houses the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Service Scholarship, the Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP), and Academic Talent Search, which serve a combined 800 students annually.

Canisius is excited to add two new programs to the department; the Foster Youth College Success Initiative and the Upward Bound Math & Science program.

The Foster Youth College Success Initiative (FYCSI) provides financial and academic support to New York State residents who received foster care, were orphan, or a ward of the court at the age of 13 or older. Funds may be used toward tuition, books, housing, etc. The FYCSI program is open to all students.  For more information, please contact Fatima Rodriguez Johnson at

Upward Bound Math & Science Program (UBMS), is a federally funded TRIO program serving 60 students at MST High School in Buffalo.  UBMS offers academic and cultural activities throughout the year.  Participants receive academic advising, tutoring services, and assistance with the college admissions process.  Originally housed at Medaille University, UBMS joined the Canisius community in June and hosted a summer program for 30 students in grades 9 -12. Located on the first floor of Horan O’Donnell, UBMS will provide after school programming Monday-Friday, from 3:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

In addition to welcoming UBMS students, we would also like to recognize our new colleagues, Shahreen Alom, director; Colleen Lauer, college advisor and Cerrwida Brown, academic advisor.  If you would like to learn more about Upward Bound, please email or stop by Horan O’Donnell, room 102.

Submitted by: Fatima Rodriguez Johnson, Associate Dean for Diversity & Inclusion, Academic Affairs