Berkeley Today Stories
Berkeley Mom Celebrates as Two Sons Graduate from Her Alma Mater
Alexia Hill of Rockaway, Queens, NY, Berkeley College Class of 2013, sees her dream come true as both of her sons, Odelle George-Perreira (far left) and Mikal-Jordan George (3rd from left) graduated with the Berkeley College Class of 2015. Celebrating with the family is Will Moya (far right), Berkeley College Campus Operating Officer, New York City.
As Alexia Hill prepared to graduate from Berkeley College in 2013, she had two things on her mind: the business she would start with her new skills set and the future of her sons.
Ms. Hill, who lives with her sons in Arverne in the Rockaways section of Queens, NY, promised herself on her graduation day that she would make sure her sons would also be college graduates. In 2013, they were already halfway there, having begun their studies at Berkeley College in 2011.
This April, Ms. Hill’s dream came to fruition as her sons, Mikal-Jordan George, 21, and Odelle George-Perreira, 24, joined the Graduating Class of 2015.
“I want them to live their dreams,” said Ms. Hill, a single mother who was born in the Caribbean nation of Jamaica. “I worked a lot of jobs just to make money. I don’t want that for them. I want them to have work they love.”
Enjoying the College Experience
Ms. Hill and her sons attended Berkeley College in Midtown Manhattan. Mr. George-Perreira, who received a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration – Management, said he enjoyed the classes, planning and running campus events with his brother, and many other aspects of life at Berkeley.
He said one of the benefits of Berkeley was that small class size allowed for more interaction with his professors.
“It’s easier to be noticed,” he said. “If you need extra help, you can see the teacher or go to the Academic Support Center. If you want to get a good grade, you can.”
In their work-study positions within the Office of Student Development and Campus Life, the brothers became familiar faces on campus, helping the office create student identification cards and filming YouTube videos to raise awareness about campus events.
They were a team that “always went above and beyond,” said Sharod Tomlinson, Assistant Dean, Student Development and Campus Life, who worked with the brothers for two years. “They were tremendous assets to the department.”
Mr. Tomlinson said that with their technological savvy, management skills, and willingness to learn, the brothers are well prepared to succeed in their chosen fields.
For now, the brothers, who were involved in a music club at Berkeley and both perform as musicians at local venues, are getting a foot in the door in the music industry.
The Road to Entrepreneurship
Mr. George-Perreira currently interns at Dubset Media Holdings in New York City, where he interviews recording artists, attends concerts and events, and writes reviews. Mr. George, who received a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration – Information Systems Management, interns at Symphony Space, an events venue in New York City.
The internships fulfill a Berkeley College requirement that provides industry experience for each student.
Since graduating in 2013, Ms. Hill has become an entrepreneur and an author. She hopes to expand her line of jewelry into a full-time venture and has self-published Faith and the Born-Again Single Mom, which is available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble. She currently works as personal secretary to the president of Campus Coach Lines in Manhattan and as a customer service representative for Home Depot.
Ms. Hill said that Berkeley College guided her to her degree, with professors and staff there to provide encouragement every step of the way. As her sons prepared to graduate, she sent an email to Will Moya, Berkeley College Campus Operating Officer, to thank him for also supporting her family in its academic journey.
“I just wanted to take the opportunity to say, ‘Thank you!’ ” Ms. Hill wrote. “The boys are completing Berkeley this week and we couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you for being COO, confidante, support system, father, and a listening ear when they needed one. I will forever be indebted to you.”
Mother’s Day is particularly special this year for Alexia Hill of Rockaway, Queens, NY, Berkeley College Class of 2013. Both of her sons, Odelle George-Perreira (left) and Mikal-Jordan George, also graduated in the Berkeley College Class of 2015.