Monroe 2 Orleans BOCES News Article

BELL graduate looks ahead

Vargas with BOCES 2 BELL and Transition Program teachers and administrators.

Thousands of people gathered at Roberts Wesleyan College on May 5 to celebrate spring commencement. One of the graduates honored in this year’s ceremony was BOCES 2 student Michael Vargas (East Irondequoit), who completed the Bridge to Earning, Learning and Living (BELL) Program.

Vargas walked amongst his peers during the processional into the Voller Athletic Center; he smiled as he turned his tassel with his fellow students; and he beamed as he walked on stage to receive his completion certificate.

The BELL program, a collaboration between BOCES 2, CP Rochester and Roberts Wesleyan College, is a two-year transition program that has been housed on the RWC campus since 2010. This is the third time that BELL graduation has been incorporated into the college’s commencement ceremony. For Vargas and his family, it was a very special moment.

“I liked receiving my certificate at graduation,” said Vargas. “I’m going to miss BELL. I liked doing the work in my college classes. I learned how to be social with my friends in the program.”

During his time in BELL, Vargas has been working on campus at the Garlock Café and the new Crothers Nursing Building. His off-campus internships have been at Rochester Regional Health and most recently at Gates Volunteer Ambulance. Vargas has been accepted into Project SEARCH this fall. While in this internship program, he will report to work at Strong Memorial Hospital, and focus on honing the skills needed to get and keep and job.

“I would really like to become an EMT someday.”

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