Philomene Sanon and Sharron O. Sparks
Meet Philomene Sanon, ’19:
Student, Single Mom, She Does it all with a Smile…
When I toured colleges, I realized I was only going to be a number at four-year institutions. Then I visited Union, and my world changed. Student Services Associate Aaron Romero showed me the Cranford campus and gave me a checklist of “things to do” to achieve one’s personal best in College. I was never asked about my financial status or if I could afford to pay. Instead I was simply encouraged about how I could earn my associate degree.
My career aspiration is to start a company where I create effective websites to help small “mom and pop” businesses promote their services. I am a business major with a focus on marketing. When I transfer, I plan to minor in communications.
I am outgoing and consider myself a “people person.” Thanks to the Union’s faculty and staff, I am a Student Advisory Committee (SAC) member for the New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA). HESAA is the only New Jersey state agency that provides financial and informational resources for students to pursue an advanced degree. SAC provides feedback to HESAA on policies related to state student financial aid programs. I love representing the College.
I am also very involved on campus. I am part of the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) program. Through EOF, I receive academic support, career advising, and serve as President of the Women’s Leadership Group. I am Treasurer for the International Club and a member of the Fellowship Group. I also work part-time as a student worker in the Helen E. Chaney Student Services Center and the Cranford bookstore.
I am considered a “non-traditional” student because I am older and a single mom. Through EOF, I connected with Ms. Sharron Sparks, a Student Services Specialist, who has been a big help to me. She has taken a special interest in my success and assists me with both school and personal issues, providing valuable guidance and advice.
My goal in life is to be the best example possible for my son. He is my motivation, he is my life. My son gives me the energy in the morning to tackle my day, and the drive at night to attend class and complete my assignments. He has given me a new-found appreciation for life.
Sharron O. Sparks is a Student Services Specialist in the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) Program. She first worked in EOF as a graduate assistant at Seton Hall University. There she gained experience in student services which prepared her well for Union. Sharron believes in the power of education. She earned her bachelor’s degrees in psychology and English from Rutgers University. At Seton Hall, she completed a master’s degree in education/counseling, and later earned a master’s degree in information technology from DeVry University. Sharron believes the world is her classroom and playground, so each new day is a chance to improve on the day before.