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The University of Connecticut's Center for Academic Programs Celebrates Their 50th Anniversary

January 29, 2018

Center for Academic Programs (CAP)On October 28, 2017, the University of Connecticut's Center for Academic Programs (CAP) celebrated 50 years of Changing Lives through Educational Access with a gala on the Storrs campus. More than 250 people were there to commemorate the impact CAP has on the lives of the students it serves. The keynote address was given by Francisco Borges, chairman of Landmark Partners and an alumnus of the first CAP program in 1967. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) sent a congratulatory message via video. In the video, Senator Murphy said that he was transformed the first time he visited a TRIO program and heard students talk about their dreams of going to college. "We've got to come together and make sure that this support — the kind of programs that CAP runs and oversees — is protected," he said. "We can make an argument that we can't succeed as a nation unless we dramatically expand these programs." He closed by congratulating CAP on their 50 years and said "Let's keep working together to lift kids and students up across the country." Connecticut State Senator Mae Flexer, a first-generation college student herself, presented a citation from the Connecticut General Assembly commemorating the occasion. Other guests included representatives of the New England Educational Opportunity Association (NEOA) and the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE) as well as CAP alumni and staff, University of Connecticut faculty and staff, and the university's community partners.

One of the highlights of the evening was the reading of the poem "The Most Beautiful Things Are Never in Plain Sight" by the author, Sadejah Blake, a student in the Student Support Services program at the university.

The Most Beautiful Things Are Never in Plain Sight

The most beautiful things are never in plain sight.
THIS is where there are more dreams, everyone has wings.
The odds are against us, but we still fly because here is where there is more devotion because the absence of privilege did not/will not/cannot stand.

Sadejah Blake,We say—
Give us the platform and we will write our names in excellence.
Give us the platform and we will make our dreams real.

We will shake hands with our futures and become in charge of our destinies.

We say—
Give us the platform and we will write our names in excellence, dance through obstruction with grace.
Become a part of something bigger than ourselves.

How does one become so graceful?
How does one progress without example?

You must come from a place of magic in disguise.
After so many "you can'ts" and "you won'ts"

We sit here, people of we can, we will, and we did.

Give us the platform and make way for our stories to manifest themselves.

The most beautiful things are never in plain sight.

Until they refuse to go unnoticed.
Until they refuse to be forgotten.

Here is where hardship fought, but could not conquer.

By Sadejah Blake, sophomore, Student Support Services participant, Class of 2020

To listen to the remarks from Senator Chris Murphy and to see photos from the celebration, please go to CAP's website.