Honors Program Provides Students with Opportunities

Freddie Ando has been participating in Hilbert College’s honors program since last semester. He said that he was nominated by his English teacher to be in the honors program.

“I decided to do it because I get to register first and I also get access to the honors lounge. It also looks good on a resume.”

I got in touch with Freddie Ando, a member of the honors program, to get information on what it is like. Freddie says that “This program has really changed his life and I would recommend any student to get involved with my program. At first there’s a lot of work involved but it is worth it in the end. You meet all new people, along with getting involved with the community, and learning new experiences.”

Freddie gave us a lot of information regarding the honors program, to get you more a background of what it is like. One of the first questions that I wanted to ask is what activities do you do when you are in the Honors Program.

The main activity that honors program students participate in is mainly Volunteer work. Each year we must complete a total number of 20 service ours to be in this program,” Ando said. “When you take the entry level honors course, the class participates in a food drive where we must donate food to a local food pantry. Majority of the money for the food comes from either a GoFundMe account or on campus fundraiser. As a class we also went to both Resurrection Life food Pantry and Feed More WNY to help those that are in need of food. To me I love fun activates and it keeps me more involved. So, when I found out that there is a lot to do and that this program keeps you involved it got me more intrigued.”

There are a lot of people hurting right now regarding Covid, many families are struggling and every scholarship helps.

Ando said that the Honors Program has recently acquired a scholarship of $1,000. He also said that he wished that, “the scholarship should be worth more based on how much work it takes to stay in this program.” Even though the honors program is a lot of work, Ando says that he likes it. He also said that when you are involved in the Honors Program you get to be with the Honors Lounge. He said that “The Honors Lounge is a big room with computers, a printer, couches, with a conference style tables and chairs. It is a nice quiet place where I can complete assignments. The Honors Lounge to me is very rewarding because it symbolizes all the hard work that I have put into my schooling. The Honors Program has really opened my eyes to the world through the volunteer work. When I was completing my 20 service hours at Resurrection Life Food Pantry, I realized how many people need help in our community. This has made me internally grateful for the life that I have today.”

Right now, it is hard to get involved on campus because of Covid-19 but the campus is having more and more zoom meetings to have on campus so students get involved. The Honors Program is another way to get involved at Hilbert. Freddie Ando says “Our impacts from volunteering outside of college really show how powerful Hilbert really is. It shows that the students who attend classes their have big hearts full of passion to help the community through both law enforcement and community service. I have created many new friendships from the honors program. I have mainly acquired these friends through the honors course. We have worked together for the greater good of our community and I believe that it makes our friendships stronger.” I also wanted to ask the director of the honors programs, Dr. Smith, some questions regarding the program. Dr. Smith says that there are approximately 50 total students in the honors program. Dr. Smith says “The Honors Program is designed to develop the skills that employers and graduate schools are looking for, including problem solving, critical thinking, and communication skills.  Participating in the program is a way of setting yourself apart from your peers when it comes time to apply for a job or graduate school and showing that you have the skills employers are looking for. The Honors Program provides students with opportunities to grow personally as they challenge themselves academically and to develop leadership skills as they give back to their communities.”

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