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Dr. Mauro: Derek Correa update and Happy New Year


“For this leap year, 2024 brings us 366 days and we have a choice”

To the Alfred State College Community,

As we begin 2024, I have great news to share regarding first-year student Derek Correa’s progress. Derek started talking on December 27 including “Hi, how are you?” His talking has increased each day since. Derek remembers people’s names and is communicating what he needs for the first time. 

While Derek has work ahead to fully enunciate, balance, and walk, this holiday season has seen him make major strides. For New Year’s weekend, he passed a swallow test so he can begin eating solid food too!

Derek’s family provides updates on their GoFundMe page, and  I thank everyone for the long list of ways Pioneers are showing their support. This generosity of spirit has been an inspiration to Derek and his family as we cheer for his ongoing rehabilitation. In the last few weeks, Derek’s first written words were “thank you” as a display of appreciation for support.

Derek Correa spoke for the first time on December 27 including “Hi, how are you?” and has shown dramatic progress.

Since mid-October, our collective attention has been focused on ways to help a fellow Pioneer recover after being assaulted. 

As we turn the calendar to 2024, it is heart-warming to see Derek make such progress at a time when his family was huddled close for the holidays and would benefit so much from all of the answered prayers. Pioneers have shown how much we care about one another.

For this leap year, 2024 brings us 366 days and we have a choice of what we do with them. So, let’s set new goals and dream new dreams. Together with the support of our Pioneer Family, we will make each other stronger and better in the year ahead.

Happy New Year to all Pioneers!

Dr. Steven Mauro, Ph.D.

Alfred State College President

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