The Graduation Success Initiative (GSI) within the College of Opportunity to Prepare for Employment Department (COPE) at Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) held its 2016 graduation on June 28 in Richard Harris Terrace.
Forty-eight students, representing 84 percent of the GSI program’s current cohort, completed the program with an associate degree.
The event featured welcoming remarks from Maria Buck, University Director; Annika Holder, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, New York City Human Resources Administration; Janice Zuma, Dean of Academic Affairs, BMCC; Colette Labrador, Director, GSI, CUNY and Argenis Rodriguez, COPE GSI Director, BMCC. The ceremony’s keynote speaker was Shakoure Char, Founder, From Bars II Beyond.
GSI provides a comprehensive set of academic and support services that foster academic achievement, timely graduation and workforce preparedness. The program is a pioneering effort to show that by addressing key academic, social and financial barriers, students can focus on their education.
During the ceremony, students shared stories detailing ways GSI had supported them when the stress of college life was most stressful.
Rodriguez says told the group, many who graduated BMCC with honors, “onward and upward…always.”
This year’s graduates include: Estefanny Abad, Lesly Abad, Gina Flores, Dawn Smith, Alyssa Arguinzoni, Dontaine Brown, Brianna Martinez, Cesar Perez, Bria Youngblood, Fatima Burney, Nicole Dempsey, Latoya Franklin, Jessica Lucero, Nikkita Nelson, Topacio Nunez, Joshua Thomas, Nancy Carino, Ercirichel Lajara, Leslie Leon, Nasheema Miley, Julia Nansikombi, Janelle Perez, Joel Picon, Eva Polanco, Asia Williams, Mariah Carter, Bria Malcom, Derrick Anderson, Brilihon Bolou-Adodo, Jennifer Castillio, Priscila De Los Santos, Mildred Gorton, Amber Joseph, Sheba Mckelvin, Lesly Mendez, Niketa Moore, Colee Wilson, Jahmela Brooks, Alhassane Camara, Shana Matthews, Enrique Ortiz, Aracelys Pichardo-Bonilla, Vanessa Taylor, Jonathon Dominguez, Venus Rivera, Valerie Joseph, Jennifer Lutale and Sherika Kimbrough.