Spring on the York College campus

Hands On: YCCOSP

Three young YCCOSP students stand in front of a bin filled with greenery, wearing rubber gloves, face masks, and matching yellow t-shirts that read

Ritamarie Trippett
Director of YCCOSP

For Ritamarie Trippett, being hands-on means so much more than a title or job description. She draws on her own personal experience and background to make a genuine connection with each scholar in the York College Community Opportunity Scholarship Program (YCCOSP). Having experienced a similar situation to those faced by YCCOSP students, growing up in Brooklyn, NY, and navigating college as a first-generation student, Trippett understands what it’s like to overcome obstacles.

“I wish I had someone like me for me growing up,” said Trippett. Her passion stems from her own experience and wanting to be that support for students. “I take it personally because I know what that’s like.” With the pandemic, she’s seen YCCOSP students affected even harder, but that didn’t stop them from continuing their work.

They kept pushing forward with their service to the community while also continuing to work toward their own academic and professional goals. When classes went online and many community services had to revamp how they serve, scholars found other ways to make a difference. They stepped up to help clean local schools, handcrafted cards for senior living centers, and so much more while also continuing to mentor younger scholars and work with YCCOSP alumni.

Trippett sees success in the scholars. They work hard and correct past mistakes. “We all make mistakes, but mistakes are different from habits,” she said. “That’s why there are erasers on pencils. It’s what we do with it after that makes a difference.”