Various external situations—such as finances, family life and travel—may prevent students from graduating from community college within two years.
But BMCC is home to a group of 15 scholars who are committed to graduating in two years—no matter how intense their workload may get.
These students are part of Out in Two, a scholarship BMCC President Antonio Pérez introduced about ten years ago.
Those interested in Out in Two submitted an application essay early in the semester. The eight accepted students will receive $1,600 each semester, until they graduate in Fall 2012.
The Out in Two scholars must also take a minimum of 15 course credits per semester, maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0, and commit themselves to community service. They also receive personalized tutoring and priority course registration.
Welcoming the challenge
This fall, the lucky eight students selected for the Out in Two scholarship have joined the seven students who were honored last semester.
The newest standout scholars were introduced to each other at a recent Induction Ceremony.
New inductee Devin Fraser is a Liberal Arts major. “I needed a scholarship and when I heard about Out in Two in the BMCC scholarship office, I decided to apply,” he said. “I was taking six courses at BMCC my first semester. My friends thought I was crazy, but in doing so, I realized I enjoy psychology, and it’s a career I’d like to pursue.”
Fraser figured if he could handle a large course load—and his part-time job at a nursing home—than he could take on Out in Two.
“I wanted to challenge myself, and I’m committed to the program,” he said at the Induction Ceremony.
Out in Two Coordinator Mary Quezada told the new inductees they’re “ready for success.”
“You understand gifts have been given to you and you’re ready to give back to the college.”
In the past, Out in Two scholars have coordinated toy and clothing drives, volunteered as peer mentors, packaged foods at the New York Food Bank, and more.
Dana Smith, a Computer Networking major who was inducted last semester, told the new scholars, “You are part of an exclusive club that enhances your leadership potential. You’re role models.”
Smith also encouraged her fellow scholars to participate in community service outside of BMCC. For example, she spent her summer at a camp, teaching pre-teens how to make purses from old blue jeans.
“Volunteering gives us a renewed sense of self,” said Smith, who also advised scholars to write thank-you notes to their professors and record their life goals.
Out in Two alumna Tonisha Haywood also spoke at the Induction Ceremony.
“The miracle wasn’t that I was accepted into Out in Two,” said the Trinidad and Tobago native, who graduated from BMCC in 2008 and then matriculated into the CUNY Baccalaureate program. “The miracle is that I have lifelong friends all over the world that I met in Out in Two.”
The advice Haywood gave the scholars was, “Never let your academic experience have a dull moment,” recalling that she shared a common goal with her Out in Two peers.
“We all wanted to make a difference. We still do.”
Dr. Sadie Bragg, BMCC’s Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs, also met with the new scholars.
“I know you’re going to have an outstanding time with the program,” she said, reminding them they’ll always “have a home at BMCC.”
At the Induction Ceremony, Erwin Wong, BMCC’s Dean of Academic Affairs, spoke about the crucial role community colleges play today.
“Community colleges have to step up in helping students to succeed; even President Obama has said that,” he told the new scholars. “BMCC has wonderful programs and a great support staff, and it offers me a great deal of pleasure to offer you the means to achieve your dreams."
The Fall 2011 Out in Two inductees are: Ana Alas Inglesias, Karen Alvarez, Claudia Cojocaru, Amber Fletcher, Devin Fraser, Rilda Matheus, Anabel Perez, Baron Perez.