Talent Development Scholars – Class of 2016
Talent Development is more than just a program to its 1561 participating students, it’s their URI family. Over 180 Talent Development students will graduate in May from the University of Rhode Island, and this program has provided much of the guidance and encouragement, along with other valuable resources that helped them succeed.
For nearly 50 years, the Talent Development program has been praised as a path of opportunity for students in Rhode Island. Among these students is Josiane Octavius, a 2016 graduate of the College of Nursing. After being accepted to URI and the TD program, Josiane quickly learned the benefits of being part of this community. She states, “that it never crossed her mind that in this program she would develop deep-rooted friendships, almost like a sisterhood, that turned out to be her support system at URI.”
The Talent Development program not only gave Josiane a sense of community and unity, it also opened her eyes to her strengths and interests. She says, “I came to URI wanting to be a nurse. I hadn’t realized I also had leadership abilities or that I enjoyed teaching and helping people. Because of Talent Development, I realized I had the potential to succeed and further myself.”
Students often describe Talent Development as a helping hand through their college careers. Rodney Derogene, of the 2016 College of Business graduating class, says that his connections with his advisors made him comfortable relying on them for help with any academic or social issues or questions, helping him thrive not only in school but in life.
Just like Josiane and Rodney, URI graduate Nataly Garcia is another example of how Talent Development impacted her life. Nataly worked full-time while attending URI, and says she would not have graduated without the help of her Talent Development family and the support of her campus employer, Paul Whitney of URI’s Campus Stores. Nataly says, “I was able to find a group of people who made me feel loved and motivated. They showed me that there is always someone at URI who wants you to succeed.”
These inspirational students are just a few of the 180 Talent Development graduates from URI’s class of 2016. Talent Development became a home away from home for these students and they now leave URI with a second family – Talent Development. Here is a family photo album from the Congratulations Graduation event on May 14, 2016.
View all photos @ https://goo.gl/photos/ryxuCsuFHAi8VEjv5
Story and photos by Sabrina Araújo
Class of 2018, Public Relations and Communications Major
Edited by Deb Grant