First-year student Maria Lema’s journey to Buffalo State as a first-generation college student was recently chronicled in the New York Times.
The opinion page article showcased the results of The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund, which provided Lema with the $470 she needed for course books through Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New York.
“I was excited to be included in the article,” said Lema who hails from the Bronx. “It made me feel acknowledged and appreciated.”
Lema, who was a stellar student in high school, said she looked for “a college that would give me the academic rigor I needed.”
Her high school adviser recommended Buffalo State, which provided Lema with a financial aid package that covered the majority of her tuition. However, even with working a part-time job, Lema didn’t have enough money for books. That is where Catholic Charities, an organization supported by The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund, stepped in to help.
“My experience at Buffalo State has been one of the greatest,” Lema said. “I remember the first day I arrived—I couldn't believe I had finally made it to college. I have met lots of great people and have continued to display academic excellence.”