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RCC Holds Ceremony to Award Car to Navy Veteran & Student

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ROCKLAND COUNTY, NY – Rockland Community College hosted a special ceremony to award a rehabilitated car to Michael J. Finlay, a Navy veteran and Engineering Science student at RCC. This event was made possible through the generous donation of the vehicle by the Rockland County Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and the collective effort of several donors who contributed to the restoration of the car.

The Rockland County Veterans Service Agency, in collaboration with the VFW, has had a longstanding program dedicated to rehabilitating donated cars and offering them to Veterans in need. This marks the inaugural ceremony being held at RCC. The fundraiser generated over $3,000 for upgrades to the 2005 Toyota Corolla LE. The car was donated and rehabbed anonymously and the cost for the rehab work was shared by the VFW and funds raised in April 2023.

“We are immensely proud to support Navy veteran and RCC student Michael J. Finlay with a gesture that signifies our gratitude and commitment to his continued success, both academically and personally,” said Dr. Lester Sandres Rápalo, President of Rockland Community College. “We extend our heartfelt thanks to the Rockland County Veterans of Foreign Wars, the donors, RCC Veteran Affairs, and everyone involved in making this possible. It’s more than just a car; it’s a testament to the fact that when we come together, we can make a significant difference in someone’s life.”

Michael John Finlay served in the US Navy from 2007 to 2012 and received an Honorable Discharge with the rank of Machinist Mate 2nd class. He was deployed to the Persian Gulf in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2012. Currently enrolled in the RCC General Engineering program, he resides in Fishkill, New York, and is a single father of two children. Finlay is also a member of the RCC chapter of SALUTE, the National Veterans Honor Society.

“After spending many years raising my children as a single father, I am excited to have become part of the RCC community. I hope to pursue a career in the engineering field, and thanks to RCC I have been able to take the first steps toward achieving my goal,” stated Finlay.

Due to his own car failing last fall, his ability to get to and from school was negatively impacted as was his ability to properly care for his children. That’s when Jonathan Barnwell, Assistant Director of Veterans Affairs at RCC and co-organizer of the Car Award Ceremony, stepped in with a grant from the Joseph P. Dwyer Vet2Vet Program, in Dutchess County, which provided funds for a weekly car service so Michael could finish the semester at RCC. Michael continued studying remotely for the Summer as well as Fall 2023 semester.

“I cannot thank the Rockland County VFW, as well as the donors and coordinators enough for this great blessing. I know of no words that can adequately convey my most sincere gratitude and relief that this has brought me,” said Finlay “To all my fellow veterans who are considering pursuing higher education, I would highly recommend doing so. I know firsthand that sometimes life gets in the way of that, and it can seem like there is no chance at success. Succeeding is possible however, and there are kind, decent, and even exceptional people who will aid in that journey, as they have in mine.”

Photos by RCC

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Community

RCC Announces April Career & Resource Fair Free And Open To The Public

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Rockland Community College will host a Career & Resource Fair on Thursday, April 4th from 11:00 – 3:00pm in the Fieldhouse on RCC’s main campus, Suffern, NY. The event is open to the public, entry is free for job seekers, and registration is not required.

Employers can participate and advertise part-time, full-time, and professional positions. Registration is open and free for employers but is required by March 29th, 2024, at 8:00 am. 

Employers are invited to participate, seizing the opportunity to gather resumes from outstanding local talent and showcase their available positions. Registration for employers is open until March 29, 2024 at 8:00 am. Interested employers must sign up on RCC 12Twenty platform (click “Sign up for an account” on the homepage) to register for the Career & Resource Fair.

For more information, contact Jessica Gilot, Interim Senior Career Navigator at RCC:
[email protected] or 845-574-4327.

Please help spread the word to companies looking for help and job seekers. https://sunyrockland.edu/2024/02/23/career-and-resource-fair/

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India Cultural Society of Rockland Collects Dozens of Coats for Winter Drive

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ROCKLAND COUNTY, NY – The India Cultural Society of Rockland winter coat drive collected dozens of jackets. All the donations were given to St. Paul’s church. The India Cultural Society of Rockland has been passionately keeping the torch of Indian culture alive in the Rockland County since 1972. ICSR is a non-profit organization representing over 500 families of Indian origin in the county of Rockland, Orange, and parts of New Jersey. ICSR is instrumental in promoting Indian culture, arts, music and heritage to local mainstream community through various events organized throughout the year. Every year ICSR holds a parade in New City. (Video below from 2023)

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