Dr. Leslie was the founder of and a tireless advocate for the OPT program, which has graduated thousands of students during its past 32 years. The OPT program - and by extension, Dr. Leslie - has helped the unemployed find new careers, new arrivals acclimate to American industry, and other students start new chapters in their lives.
The work she did was widely recognized by colleagues across the country and served as a national model for other short-term career training programs. Dr. Leslie’s students were met this morning by the BOT faculty and dean who were accompanied by mental health counselors to help soften the shock so close to the end of the program.
Most importantly, Dr. Leslie did everything she could to financially support OPT program students, whether it was applying for national and state grant funding or collecting recyclables to coordinating the ever-popular pizza sales to raise funds for scholarships. Throughout its existence, students paid nothing for completing the 17-week program consisting of up to 20 units of college coursework.
The sudden passing of Dr. Leslie leaves a terrible hole in the heart of this institution, for she exemplified our college’s commitment to helping all students succeed.
Watch a video about the incredible impact of the OPT program:
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