Spring on the York College campus

Helping Others Chase Their Dream

Jenifer Hernandez-Vargas stands in front of a campus building in fall, wearing a York College sweatshirt

Jenifer Hernandez-Vargas and her mother came to the United States from Mexico, without documentation, to join her father who had obtained citizenship. Their journey to citizenship would inspire the young girl’s future career goals. Now a sophomore at York College, she’s set her heart on becoming an immigration lawyer to help others pursue their American dream. 

Growing up in York, Hernandez-Vargas benefited from the York College Community Opportunity Scholarship Program, better known as YCCOSP. The program provides accepted students in the York City School District the opportunity to pursue a college education with room and board at no cost. It also allowed her to dual enroll as a high school senior, giving her a jump-start on her college education.

She says, “The program provides a network of people who are cheering for you. They want to see you succeed. They’ve been where you are.” Now, she has the opportunity to pursue her own American dream, without worry of limitations or burden to her family who worked so hard to give her a chance to succeed. 

Although early in her college experience, she has already met professionals and local leaders who have strengthened her network. And she has leaned on faculty to guide her in the right steps to take so she can reach her goals. 

“I don’t think I’d have these opportunities if I were living anywhere else,” she says. “York College made it possible for me to do things that may not have been available to me otherwise. I won’t let that opportunity go to waste.”