Natalie Suriel




Hostos Community College ASAP '14


Hello my name is Natalie. I was born and raised in the Bronx. My mother and father were born in the Dominican Republic, making me first generation born in the United States. Although I was born in the Bronx, I was raised with a Hispanic background. I started school in a normal public school, then in fourth grade I was invited to Maritime Academy, which was a public magnet school for children who did well in math and English. While in Maritime I was taught to strive for the best and to never settle for less. I was later on accepted into Pelham Preparatory Academy, where they thought that going to college was not an option but rather a requirement; that is why they call themselves “the high school with a college view.” During my first year, they already had me writing college essays. While in Pelham Preparatory Academy I was presented an opportunity that I could not let pass by. The program that they introduced me to was called College Now at Lehman College. This program let me take my first college English class, which would count at the college of my choice. This program helped me understand what was waiting for me in college.          


I found out about ASAP while I was in high school. They came to present to us what ASAP was and I was very interested in what they had to offer. I decided to become an ASAP student because it was a program where they make students a priority and make it so that we can graduate faster. When I first became an ASAP student I expected that I wouldn’t know any of the other members and that it wasn’t going to be such a close group.


Natalie-S-rocketTo my surprise ASAP gave me close relationships with my advisor and the other program members and these relationships helped me greatly in my transition from high school to college. I enjoy that ASAP advisors always help you with your goals and send you in a direction where you can achieve them. One more important element of ASAP for me has been the ASAP Seminar, which is held weekly for two semesters. During these seminars, I was able to make connections with other students and realize that we are all going through similar situations in college. Seminars also have taught me how to manage my time and how to prioritize.


After I earn my associates degree with the help of ASAP I plan to further my education at City College, where I will pursue my dream of becoming an electrical engineer. While at City College I am planning to go on to earn a Masters or PhD.


ASAP has pointed me in the right direction since the day I started the program, and because of them teaching me how to network I was able to get an internship at NASA’s Marshal Space Flight Center. ASAP has made me become a better student by encouraging me to do eight hours of tutoring monthly, which helped me out a great deal academically. I have advised everyone I know to join ASAP because it is really an extraordinary program where they teach you things that are hard to learn on your own. ASAP has taught me my true potential and I hope everyone has a chance to experience the same.



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