Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) welcomed 43 new students to the Out in Two scholarship program during the Spring 2016 induction ceremony on March 22.
Combined, the Fall 2015 and Spring 2016 cohorts will be the largest number of students in the Out in Two academic program’s 17-year -history. More than 90% of BMCC’s Out in Two scholars graduate in two years and go on to four-year colleges, a much higher rate than the national average.
In addition to financial help, the scholarship, founded by BMCC President Antonio Pérez, provides individualized academic counseling and requires community service and civic engagement.
During the afternoon ceremony at Richard Harris Terrace, President Pérez welcomed the audience, including students’ families saying BMCC celebrates the diversity of its students, faculty and staff. “We look at ourselves as a very big family from a lot of different countries and cultures,” he said.
He encouraged the new scholars to always offer a helping hand to their fellow students. “Life is not about what you acquire, it’s about how you impact someone’s life. Try to do something for someone else,” he said.
After congratulating the new cohort, Senior Vice President and Provost Karrin Wilks challenged the students to strengthen their civic engagement in order to make the world a better place. “The world needs smart, dedicated and tenacious leaders,” said Wilks.
Dean of Academic Programs and Instruction Erwin Wong told the group that individual success will depend largely on how well students work together as a group. “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go as a group,” he said to the students.
Alumni speaker Tohib Adejumo advised the students to stay dedicated to their work. “Now that you’re in the program, it will take work. There will be days that you don’t want to go to class, but just do it,” aid Adejumo.
Out in Two Program Coordinator Jonathan Matamoros said the community service mandate could be fulfilled either at a group event, or individually on a continual weekly service basis for at least half the semester.
“One of the popular volunteer venues for our students is Meals on Wheels Tutoring students at Manhattan Early College School for Advertising (MECA) is also popular,” he said.
As they enjoyed the luncheon following the ceremony, students Urjana Kica, Marisol Reyes and Tarenya Leon said they were honored to be accepted to the program and are making plans for the future.
Business Management major Marisol Reyes said she worked in the business world before coming to BMCC. After BMCC, she plans to continue her education and get back into the business world, this time as an entrepreneur.
“My goal is to open a small subscription service,” said Reyes.
Liberal Arts major Tarenya Leon plans to go to Hunter College for nursing after BMCC. “Then, I’m going to medical school for anesthesiology,” she said.
Urjana Kica, originally from Albania, hopes to eventually transfer to Hunter College and earn a degree in biology. “I want to go to medical school and become a heart surgeon. I know it’s a long ways off, but just like they say, start here, go anywhere.”
Congratulations to the Spring 2016 Out in Two Scholarship recipients: Lino Ashton, Resfred Arthur, Sydney Capers, Ricardo Castellanos, Xueying Chen, PoYing Chung, Linese Contreras, Justin Demateo, Quincy Doccy, Simone Edwards, Imahnni Jeffries, Sangwoo Jeon, Anisur Khan, Urjana Kica, Yan Ming Lee, Shane Leguillow, Tarenya Leon, Kayla Limage, Emmanuel Lokoyi, Eduardo Lugo Rodriguez, Ishrak Nasir, Matthew Nazario, Julie Neira, Saulin Ng Wu, Queena Cassandra Patricio, Lamont Paulin, Samantha Purrone, Brandon Rafael, Omicamy Ramos, Marisol Reyes, Kristian Rodriguez, Ledwin Rodriguez, Gentanjoly Roy, Christian Sanchez, Vera Schenk, Lourdes Segarra, Akaneh Semione, Joshua Steele, Rachel Vinluan, QianJin Weng, Xhon Xheveli, Dylan Yepes and Christian Zelarayan.