Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein, P.C., has awarded scholarships to four Long Island veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and are now enrolled at Nassau Community College.
“It is incumbent upon the Long Island business community to assist our veterans as they transition into civilian life,” said Meyer Suozzi English & Klein, P.C. Managing Attorney, Lois Carter Schlissel. “It is essential that we help them complete their education by providing tuition assistance so that they can compete for jobs in this very difficult economic climate.”
The Meyer Suozzi scholarship committee was chaired by A. Thomas Levin, chair of the firm’s Municipal Law, Land Use and Environmental Compliance practice and the Professional Responsibility practice.
About the scholarship recipients:
West Babylon resident Roselle Able served two tours in the Navy, from 1997 through 2003 and again from 2009 to 2010. Able, a single mother, says her transition to civilian life was quite difficult, but her decision to enroll in Nassau Community College made it easier for her. Able will receive her Associates degree in computer engineering and complete her studies at SUNY Farmingdale. She served as President of Student Veterans of Nassau, an organization that helps veterans transition to college life. Able says her career goal is to find a job that will allow her to help her create ecologically friendly alternative energy solutions.
Michael Tamayo a resident of Valley Stream served in the Navy from 2004 to 2010, achieving the rank of Petty Officer third class. Tamayo is a 1998 graduate of Valley Stream South High School where he played baseball, basketball and soccer. He served as a medic in Iraq from November 2006 until March of 2007, where he treated the victims of suicide bombers. He will enroll in the nursing program at Molloy College in Rockville Centre in the Fall. Since returning to college in 2011, Tamayo has maintained a 4.0 GPA.
Twenty-four year old Suheil Rivera is a resident of Baldwin, and served in Afghanistan. Sergeant Rivera, who grew up in Puerto Rico, says going back to school was difficult. However, she says her classmates at Nassau Community College helped her through her difficulties by being friendly and welcoming. She says that she carries her books in an Army issued backpack which led many of her classmates to ask her if she was a veteran. Many have gone out of their way to tell her how much they appreciate her service. She met her husband, Private Rasael Rivera, a Baldwin native, when they served together. Following graduation, Sergeant Rivera hopes to pursue a career in either radiology or logistics.
Lance Corporal Carlos Arotinco, a resident of New Hyde Park, came to the United States from Peru when he was six years old. He grew up in Glen Cove and is a 2007 graduate of New Hyde Park Memorial High School. He served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, enlisting right after high school graduation. Arotinco said school did not interest him and he saw the military as his best option. But after four years in uniform he says his priorities changed and education became very important to him. Arotinco says he plans on transferring to SUNY Farmingdale in the Fall to pursue a degree in Information Technology.