Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) welcomed 72 students to the Out in Two scholarship program with an Induction Ceremony held May 8 in Richard Harris Terrace at 199 Chambers Street.
"The Spring 2017 cohort, made up of 72 students, is the largest group in the Out in Two program’s 18-year history," said Richard Naughton, Senior Academic Advisor and Out in Two Assistant Coordinator.
Students not only receive tuition scholarships, they benefit from individualized academic counseling as they complete their studies and meet their community service requirements on and off campus. The program’s success is reflected in its two-year graduation rate of more than 90 percent, a much higher rate than the national average of 16 percent.
“It’s important to note that this growth and the success of the program have been made possible by generous donations from the Meringoff Family Foundation, the Derfner Foundation and the BMCC Foundation,” Naughton said.
Jonathan Matamoros, Senior Academic Advisor and Out In Two Program Coordinator, welcomed an audience of Out In Two Scholars, their families and friends to the Induction Ceremony.
BMCC President Antonio Pérez gave a brief history of the Out In Two program, which he founded in 1999 in response to New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's criticism of community college graduation rates.
"If we provide our students with necessary resources and remove financial barriers, they have shown us they can complete their goals in two years," said President Pérez. "You are leaders of tomorrow."
Karrin E. Wilks, Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs, delivered opening remarks. "It is my honor to congratulate, challenge and thank you,” she said. “The world needs smart, tenacious leaders to make a difference in our communities and make the world a better place."
Reminding the inductees of the team of counselors and staff in place for Out In Two students, Erwin Wong, Dean for Academic Programs and Instruction, gave this advice: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with a group.”
Out In Two graduate Tesfamichael Demeke shared his experience with the next generation of Out In Two Scholars. “Get involved, try new things,” he said, “but prioritize your academics. Connect with professors, ask questions. You are here because BMCC believes in you. Now it’s time for you to believe in yourself.”
When the speaking portion of the program concluded, each inductee came up to the stage to receive a certificate presented by President Pérez and Provost Wilks. The event closed with a reception in Richard Harris Terrace.
Spring 2017 Out in Two Inductees, A-D
Joel Abuassi, Dorothy Alcinord, Svetlana Aminova, Ohemah Atwereboanda, Seth Barkyoumb, Amadou Barry, Noa Benjo, Edwin Bode, Khenya Bridgewater, Alexandra Buesgens, Hanna Calderon, Christopher Clarke, Sachi Clarke, Diego Cordova, Valerie Decamps, Firat Demir, Panagiota Dimitriadou and Emma Drabo.
Spring 2017 Out in Two Inductees, E-M
Norah Edouard, Courtney Essien, Kirsa George, Maricelys Gonzalez, Alycia Gunawan, Rukaya Hamza, Lam Han, Daisy Herasme, Pierce Hunter, Whitney Idahosa, Elizabeth Izarpate, Shanice Jacobs, Shaiku Jalloh, Keren Jason, Kianny Jimenez, Derrieka Johnson, Sarah Jorgenson, Mamadou Ka, Roberto Lagos, Lior Levy, Kevin Llivichuzca, Steven Manzella, Alexis Martinez, Shalimar Martinez, Victoria Martins M Dos Santos, Sydney Miranda and Nicole Munoz.
Spring 2017 Out in Two Inductees, N-Z
Alex Navarrete, Katherine Newell, Amanda Perales, Sivika Persaud, Indira Ramesh-Boucaud, Rodrigo Retamar, Christopher Reyes, Deshaun Robinson, Enmanuel Rojas, Madleine Salas, Suging Sang Feng, Rashaad Saunderson, Nora Sika, Andre Simon, Daira Taveras, Courtney Thomas, Bryan Valdivia, Derick Victoriano, Marvin Villalba, Iryna Yafimchyk, Doniella Young, Kevin Young, Abdelrahman Zakik, Kevin Zambrano, Amy Zhang and Adriana Zuccardi.