Ellion Magsino dreamed he would one day be able to immigrate from the Philippines to the United States and pursue a better life. That's exactly what he's doing at Onondaga Community College. "I love it here. There are so many opportunities compared to back home where there weren't a lot of opportunities for success."
Magsino arrived in the United States in 2019, following his mother who had immigrated here more than a decade earlier. He was raised by his aunt and uncle while he waited for everything to be worked out with the immigration process.
Magsino received his high school diploma from Chittenango in 2020 and enrolled at OCC that fall. He was selected to be part of the Lillian Slutzker Honors College which gives high-achieving students the ability to attend OCC tuition-free and receive assistance with the cost of textbooks and school supplies. During his first year on campus he earned a perfect 4.0 grade point average in the Mathematics & Science degree program and was inducted into the College's chapter of international honor society Phi Theta Kappa.
While attending high school in the Philippines, Magsino took an "Accounting, Business & Management" class and realized he was interested in a career in finance. "So much of your life and opportunities depends on money. I wanted to be in the know about those types of things and know how to handle it."
OCC's Career Services office helped Magsino coordinate a summer internship opportunity at Brackens Financial Solutions Network in Syracuse. He designed and implemented a research study about racial diversity in the financial services industry. "The whole experience there was very eye opening. People there really want to help others, especially those from underrepresented communities."
This semester Magsino is one of two student representatives on the OCC Foundation board and its Finance Committee. He was recommended for the position by a professor after putting together an outstanding presentation on Personal Finance for an Honors class. "Being part of the OCC Foundation is very interesting and rewarding for me. It makes me feel very happy and very secure to know there are people who care for the students."
Magsino will complete work toward his degree next May. He plans to transfer to a four-year college in New York State and continue his education.