The New York State Financial Aid Administrators Association (NYSFAAA) has recognized two of St. Joseph’s top financial aid advisers for the hundreds of volunteer hours a year they pour into the community.
Director of Financial Aid Amy Thompson, who oversee financial at SJC Long Island and SJC Brooklyn, and Associate Director of Financial Aid Vanessa Barrios, who works at SJC Brooklyn, received service awards during NYSFAAA’s annual
conference, held last month in Syracuse. Thompson received an award for her work on Long Island, and Barrios for her service across New York City.
When Thompson and Barrios aren’t working with students at St. Joseph’s, they spend their time immersing themselves in one of the College’s core values: service.
Using Financial Aid Knowledge to Serve Their Communities
Thompson and Barrios separately volunteer to meet with high school students and their parents to help them understand everything that goes into the, sometimes arduous, process of applying for financial aid. They go into the meetings, not as ambassadors solely seeking to increase enrollment at St. Joseph’s College, but as individuals seeking to show the community that going to college is possible — even if money is tight. The pair of financial aid experts lead the way, showing families how to apply for scholarships, loans and grants.
Thompson and Barrios will often sit with applicants, helping them fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as FAFSA.
They each volunteer their extensive financial aid knowledge at nearly two dozen such meetings a year.
“I think it’s a very positive thing for us to be involved,” said Thompson, explaining that she didn’t expect so much recognition for her volunteer efforts.
Barrios is also humble when she speaks about her accomplishment.