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TRiO Pathways to Success

About Pathways


The Lehman College Pathways to Success, TRiO / Student Support Services (TRiO / SSS) program is federally funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The Lehman College Pathways to Success, TRiO/SSS was founded in September 2010 as a result of a joint petition led by Dr. Anne Rothstein, Director of the School of Center for School/College Collaboratives and Dr. Annette Hernandez, Director of the SEEK Program.

TRiO programs have a rich history dating back to 1964, and continue to serve as an advocate for access to higher education for eligible students across the nation, without regard for race, ethnicity, or culture.


The goals of Pathways to Success (PTS) is to increase the number of first-generation students, disadvantaged low-income students, and students with disabilities who successfully complete a program of study at the postsecondary level at Lehman College. PTS will increase the retention, academic achievement, progress toward graduation, and graduation rates for these students. Students will fully engage in the documentation of their academic, personal, and professional development. The program and the advocacy of faculty and administrators will foster an institutional climate supportive of the success of participating students. Students will leave the program with a confident sense of self and their unique place in their communities.

PTS will provide opportunities for academic, personal, and professional development in group and one-on-one settings, assist students with basic college requirements, motivate students toward the successful completion of their postsecondary education, help them develop financial and economic literacy, assist them to meet the requirements for graduate school applications, help them find career positions and guide them toward fulfilling careers. Visit the Event Activities to learn more about our program events and activities.

The Team

Alex Cruz, Project Director

The Project Director is a long-time member of the Lehman College and SEEK Program community. He completed his bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Lehman and subsequently earned an M.A. in College Counseling and Student Development at Hunter College. Mr. Cruz served as a SEEK Counselor, Coordinator of SEEK Counseling Services and finally as SEEK Director at Lehman until his retirement in 2003. He returned to Lehman College in 2010 to direct Pathways to Success.

Rafael Almanzar, Counselor Advocate

Rafael earned an M.A. in Guidance and Counseling at New York University where he received his graduating class’ Outstanding School Counseling Service Award. He received his B.A. in Sociology from Lehman College. Since completing his graduate degree, Rafael has worked with the Lehman College SEEK program as a Student Engagement Coordinator and with CSM, a community non-profit agency, providing support services to local high school students. As a professional counselor, Rafael hopes to open doors for his counselees like his educational counselors and advisors did for him. He has a special interest in the benefits of study abroad for SEEK students; he recalls with enthusiasm his own study abroad experience in Greece on a full CUNY STOCS scholarship while a SEEK student at Lehman College.

Julie Sriken, Counselor Advocate

Julie earned her B.A. in Anthropology from Queens College and will complete an M.A. in Forensic Psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in December 2013. She has counseled survivors of crime in Safe Horizon’s Hotlines Program and at CAMBA’s Victim Assistance Program and Rape Crisis Program. Julie is a published author and presenter on racial discrimination, intimate partner violence, sexual objectification in the media, and violence in the male sex work industry. In addition to her research and counseling experience, Julie has extensive musical training. She cofounded and directs Jamaica Drum Jam, a non-profit music education program with the goal of bringing people together through percussion and drumming events.