Article about Ms. Rachael Howard Richardson
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Originally from New York City, Ms. Rachael Howard Richardson entered SUNY Fredonia and the Educational Development Program in the fall of 1994 and was awarded a degree in audio/radio production in 1998. She graduated from the Performing Arts High School in New York at the age of 16 with a lifestyle that most would consider above average. However, within three years, she was working menial jobs just to buy bread, living in boxes on the streets of Hell's Kitchen, and realizing she had to make a change for the better in her life. She wanted to go college and meant to call an independent financial aid firm but ended up talking to Mr. William Ortega, one of Fredonia's former admissions counselors. "I couldn't let this young lady off the phone," said Will, who now is an EOP counselor at Buff State. He convinced Rachael to stay in touch with him and she was accepted into Fredonia in the fall of 1994 through EDP. "I had no idea about going to college or about such programs as EDP. The first year was a big adjustment for me," said Rachael. "There is no doubt that I would be dead without finding Fredonia." In her application autobiographical essay Rachael wrote "I'm starving to learn and I can't do it alone. I'm looking for a school where I can take in all it has to offer and discover all that I can be if just given a chance." Rachael took full advantage of what was going on at Fredonia. She joined the staff of WCVF, the college's radio station where she hosted eight radio programs, and was an on-air personality at WCQA-FM, one of the community radio stations. She received the Marion Sonnenfeld Scholarship; was an EDP peer advisor; was a TA in two communication courses; and studied abroad at Oxford University in London for her senior year. She did all this while making the Dean's List every semester at Fredonia. She married Alan Richardson, also a Fredonia alum, in 1997 and they currently reside in Atlanta. "Ten years ago my life was saved by being accepted to Fredonia. I wouldn't be here without you. I owe everything to you choosing to take a chance on me."