BMCC students Ronald M. Burey, Maruf Hossain and Shamail Shahid, led by Acting Director of College Discovery Pedro Pérez, as well as counselors Adrian Solomon and Vanessa Rozzelle, joined Hurricane Sandy disaster relief efforts alongside the CUNY Coalition for Students with Disabilities, the University Student Senate, United Leaders of CUNY, the Ernesto Malavo Leadership Academy, and other CUNY-wide groups.
Together, they boarded a bus for Staten Island to aid residents whose homes were destroyed in the storm.
“We helped people move furniture out of their damaged homes and provided cleaning supplies, food and water,” said Professor Pérez. “At BMCC, the College Discovery Program has a theme; ‘Enter to learn, depart to serve’, and we believe in giving all students a chance to start their service to the community, even before they depart with their degree.”
Reaching out to another part of New York City struggling to recover from the storm, BMCC’s Office of Student Affairs is coordinating relief efforts with the Red Hook Initiative, a non-profit agency in the Red Hook, Brooklyn neighborhood where the City’s largest public housing project remained without electricity or heat weeks after the storm.
“They need volunteers for everything from community cleanup to food delivery,” said Annette Orozco, Acting Student Life Specialist.
To assist students themselves as they recover from the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, BMCC counselors and staff are helping them access Red Cross shelter options, City warming centers, FEMA disaster relief, unemployment benefits, personal counseling, and other resources and services.
“Our focus has been to help our students, as well as the communities they are from, adjust to this life-changing event,” Orozco said.