Amazon Gives OCC $50,000 to Support Student Success Coaches

Posted on June 28, 2023

Onondaga Community College received a gift of $50,000 from Amazon. The generous donation will be used to assist in supporting Student Success Coaches at OCC.

Student Success Coaches responsibilities include:

  • Monitoring student academic progress and providing proactive and just-in-time guidance and support.
  • Providing a sense of community by organizing educational and social events for students in their respective School.
  • Guiding students through the higher education landscape and managing competing demands from school, family, and work.
  • Collaborating with colleagues and departments across the institution to provide holistic support and meet the unique needs of individual students.

 Today’s announcement is the latest example of Amazon’s commitment to the Central New York region and its mission to create paths to career success through education and learning new skills. In October 2022, Amazon chose OCC to be its partner in the Career Choice program. Career Choice provides Amazon’s hourly employees the opportunity to take classes at OCC at Amazon’s expense. Employees can focus on the academic programs of their choosing and learn new skills for career success at Amazon or elsewhere. During the spring 2023 semester nearly two dozen Amazon employees took advantage of Career Choice. For Amazon employees and students like Ivan Kamdem who sends money home monthly to his family in Cameroon, or Kay Cee, a single mother who also works full time for the Syracuse City School District, Career Choice is providing them the opportunity to better their lives through higher education tuition-free.

 “We are grateful to Amazon for their partnership with us at Onondaga Community College. From the Career Choice program which is already changing lives, to today’s support of our Student Success Coaches, Amazon is truly making a difference. Their transformational support is paying dividends today, and will continue to do so in the future,” said OCC President Dr. Warren Hilton.

 "We know that OCC's Student Success Coaches program is a critical resource for supporting students as they achieve their education goals," said Carley Graham Garcia, Amazon’s head of community affairs in New York, "It’s also a great way to support Amazonians who are taking advantage of Career Choice and all the benefits it has to offer them and other employer-sponsored students."

 "From day one, Amazon has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to be a true community partner. They have proven that time and time again through their support of organizations across our community. Their partnership, however, with OCC is truly amongst the most meaningful. This most recent gift will allow OCC to bolster their Student Success Coaches program and will go a long way towards ensuring that the students attending OCC today are prepared for the jobs of tomorrow. Thank you to Amazon for this important donation and to the team at OCC for their leadership in this effort,” said Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon.

 "I applaud the growing career and training pipeline between Onondaga Community College and Amazon. This new investment in OCC’s Student Success Coaches program will provide all students with the support they need to succeed, regardless of their background or circumstances. I thank Amazon and OCC for their commitments to our community and for working together to educate and prepare the workforce of the future,” said New York State Senator John D. Mannion (D-50).

 “Amazon continues to invest in the Central New York Community in meaningful ways through their support of education and training. Amazon’s existing Career Choice Program allows Amazon employees to freely choose any curriculum they want whether in line with a career with Amazon or elsewhere. These educational opportunities allow their employees to gain skills that will lead to careers at Amazon, in other businesses or starting their own business! Amazon’s gift to Onondaga Community College extends this commitment by supporting Student Success Coaches to help ensure students succeed in their programs by making focused academic and social supports available. Amazon appreciates the difficulties their employees may face while continuing their education and this gift directly goes to helping them successfully reach their goals. That is why their investment in Student Success Coaches at OCC is so special,” said New York State Assemblymember Al Stirpe (D–North Syracuse).

 “I am pleased to learn that Amazon will donate $50,000 to Onondaga Community College in support of their Student Success Coach Program. These coaches will guide students through the challenges of higher education, providing support and assisting them in managing competing demands. This donation signifies Amazon's continued partnership with OCC, highlighting their shared vision of fostering educational opportunities and helping students achieve their academic goals. Additionally, OCC's Career Choice partnership with Amazon, which provides prepaid tuition for employees, has seen great success. I applaud Amazon for their dedication to education and continued investment in our community,” said New York State Assemblymember Pamela J. Hunter (D–Syracuse).

 "It's exciting to see Amazon expand its commitment to education and achievement through Student Success Coaches at Onondaga Community College. This is a welcome addition to Amazon’s initiatives to develop talent through its Career Choice program for Amazon employees. Together, OCC and Amazon are creating more accessible educational opportunities and career growth for Central New York. We applaud Amazon and OCC, and we look forward to the positive impact of this forward-thinking partnership,” said Robert M. Simpson, CenterState CEO President.

CenterState CEO

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