Rod Alcidonis ’09 was recently awarded the National Council for Opportunity in Education TRIO Achievement Award, for his outstanding professional accomplishments as a family and immigration lawyer in Philadelphia.
The award, conferred by the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, Alcidonous’ undergraduate institution, honors persons who enter college through service programs for disadvantaged students, then go on to achieve educational and professional excellence.
Michele Carpentier, SUNY’s assistant vice president for student affairs – who worked closely with Alcidonis during his undergraduate years – noted that he “knew what he wanted and was determined to get it, right from the start.”
Indeed, once Alcidonis decided he would become a lawyer, he didn’t let anything stop him: not a difficult childhood in a poor country; not even the subsequent loss of his eyesight. Such was his passion for the profession that – as a child growing up in Haiti – he carried a briefcase to school rather than a backpack, because “it made me look like a lawyer among my peers.”
“For me, being in law school was not an accident,” he says of RWU Law. “I had been working for it all my life. So when I got there, it was a ‘dreams coming true’ type of thing. I was just on fire.”