BMCC has several programs aimed at supporting students in their goal to earn an associate degree in a timely manner.
One of these programs, Out in Two, was founded by BMCC President Antonio Pérez during the administration of New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.
“Giuliani was critical of community college’s graduate rate,” says President Pérez, “and I was determined that we would make a difference in that area. I believe students can graduate in two years if we put the right supports in place, and so we did that.”
Skills, knowledge and drive
The latest Out-in-Two cohort of 25 students gathered in Richard Harris Terrace for a ceremony welcoming them to the program.
“We will support you, but you have to do your part, too, such as maintain a ‘B’ average,” said President Pérez. “We also expect you to give back to others, and to take advantage of all that the College offers.”
BMCC Provost Karrin Wilks told the group, “You have the skills, knowledge and drive to get out in two years. We’re all aware of the financial, social and cultural benefits of Out in Two, but you will also have the opportunity to develop your leadership skills, and find out what you can contribute to the community at BMCC and New York City.”
“You’re why we’re here,” said Dean of Academic Affairs Erwin Wong. He challenged the Out-In-Two scholars to reach out to two other BMCC students who might be eligible for the program, and Vice President of Student Affairs Marva Craig encouraged them "to attend two events each month, outside the classroom, that BMCC offers.”
“It was life changing”
“At 25 students, this is the largest Out-in-Two cohort we’ve had so far,” said Senior Academic Advisor and Co-Coordinator of Out In Two, Mary Quezada. “It’s all thanks to an increase in our funding this year from the BMCC Foundation and other sources.”
Former BMCC Out-in-Two scholar Anabel Perez went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in public affairs at Baruch College, CUNY and is now working in the office of New York Assemblyperson Luis Sepulveda.
“As an Out-in-Two scholar, BMCC not only helped me save money for my tuition, but provided me with guidance to transfer to a 4-year college,” she said. “It was life changing.”
According to Mary Quezada, “We want to build not just a cohort of Out-in-Two scholars, but a community that includes alumni of the program, former Out-in-Two scholars who return to BMCC after they graduate, to speak to and support our current Out-in-Two students.”
Christopher Pierre, BMCC Academic Advisor and Co-Coordinator of Out In Two, reminded the new cohort, “It’s critical that you always remember to seek help when you need it, through peers, your professors and the staff who are in place here at BMCC to guide you.”
Out-in-Two Club Vice President and BMCC science major Hajaru Hamza thanked the program's staff “for being our family on campus,” and Randy Ramphal, a liberal arts major and Out-in-Two Club President, read an original poem about his experience in the program.
Morzina Nishi, part of the new cohort, says, “I first heard about Out In Two from my advisor, Brandon Graham. It seemed like a good investment for when I transfer to a senior college.”
New Out-In-Two scholar Jacob Vander Weide, a literature and writing major, is looking forward to support “like priority class selection when we register.” Weide, who owned his own construction company and worked as a bartender for 23 years adds, “I’d like to go to Columbia after I graduate from BMCC, for a double major in communications and creative writing.”
Video Arts and Technology major Patricia Latorre Siles says, “I’m from Spain, and for an international student, it’s even more expensive to attend college here. I needed help that the scholarship provides.”
Business management major Shernell Thomas shared that “for the last two years, I have volunteered in Trinidad at an organization called Women’s Motivational Services. We fill backpacks with school supplies for children. The Out-in-Two scholarship helps me save money, so I can to travel to Trinidad and continue that work.”
Each of the 25 new Out-in-Two scholars was awarded a plaque, a printout announcing the first of three deposits for their first Out-in-Two monetary award, and a BMCC key chain.
“As long as they maintain eligibility, the scholars receive $1,600 for three consecutive semesters,” says Out-in-Two Co-Coordinator Mary Quezada.
A catered reception followed the ceremony.
The entire Out-In-Two cohort includes Tohib Adejumo, Felix Appiah, Mathias Bantle, Ashley Baxter, Nyasha Carmichael, Mariya Considine, Delemira Deleon, Brittany Evans, Giulia Finetto, Jeanny Hernandez, Najwa Javed, Patricia Latorre Siles, Juliana Lefevre, Eliza Destiny Lopez, Yordy Ng Fung, Morzina Nishi, Jelissa Roberts, Yana Romanova, Kiefer Rondina, Devin Scholtterer, Seunghan Song, Shernelle Thomas, Jacob Bander Weide, Dennis Velez and Dellorice Wilson.
For more information on eligibility and how to apply to Out In Two, click HERE.