Thursday, June 4, 2015

Bridgeport resident and GCC freshman, Angel Reyes, received the Outstanding Student Award, the ReEntry Award, and the Matthew Semple Memorial Scholarship at the 4th annual Bridgeport ReEntry Award Ceremony. The Matthew Semple Memorial Scholarship provides opportunities for ex-offenders to pursue education or training that will lead to employment. 

Angel Reyes is the first person to receive the $3,000 scholarship, and is eager to use the gift toward his education at Gateway Community College.  Reyes says that these awards and scholarship “open numerous doors that lead to countless opportunities.”  

One of these open doors led to President and CEO of Access Technologies Group (ATG), Lucy Baney, who helped Reyes purchase a printer for school and transportation support so he can successfully continue his education.

Reyes has also been granted a position at ATG as a blog writer.

Reyes says he is, “very grateful towards the people who have become a positive influence in my life,” and wants to use that positivity to help others. In his essay Reyes states that he “decided to give back to a community which [he has] taken so much from”.  

The first step is enrolling in the Drug & Alcohol Recovery Counseling Program at GCC. Reyes wants to help those who have stumbled down the same path he did, as well as prevent young students from entering that path. He has been asked to speak to students in inner city schools and tell them his story. Reyes wants them to know that for every person who has put you down, there is a line of people ready to bring you up.

Looking back at the last six months, Reyes sees what he has accomplished and imagines all the goals that he could have accomplished. However, he refuses to let his past hinder his present and future and continues to work toward his degree and a life of which he can be proud.