by John Mariani
More than an hour and a half before the forum was to begin, the line of spectators to see Vice President Joe Biden and his all-star education panel extended from the metal detector at the entrance of Goldstein Auditorium, through the lobby of Schine Student Center and out the door.
It included Grace Castaneda, a Syracuse University freshman from Corpus Christi, Texas. “My parents supported President Obama and Vice President Biden. It’s pretty cool to see something they were a part of,” Castaneda said.
It also would be cool if the panelists talked about how to help college students get their education, she said.
David Vermilya, co-director of the The Town Shop youth center in Camillus, was escorting several teenagers from the center. They got their tickets courtesy of Rep. Dan Maffei, whom Vermilya said wanted teens from his district to attend the forum. Dan Nolan, now a Maffei aide, is a Town Shop alumnus, Vermilya said.
“I’m expecting to hear maybe some ideas or options for young people” to afford college, Vermilya said. “It’s hard to figure out how to afford it, especially in the economic climate now.”
One idea he had not heard, he said, was any kind of proposal that would let students perform community service in exchange for tuition. That would be ideal for one of the teens he was escorting, Dakota Bateman, he said.
Bateman, 15, of Syracuse, said she had volunteered at the Samaritan Center and Sunshine Horse Rescue.
She’s anxious to hear any ideas that would make college more affordable, she said.
“I’ve done a lot of research and I know it costs a lot of money,” Bateman said.
Source: The Post-Standard