Out in Two Turns 20, and Welcomes a New Cohort

March 11, 2019

The Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNYOut in Two scholarship program provides a supportive community to help high-achieving students graduate within two years and transfer to a senior college.

On March 7 in Richard Harris Terrace at 199 Chambers Street, friends and family gathered to congratulate the Spring 2019 Out in Two cohort; 46 scholarship recipients who are joining the program in its landmark 20thyear.

Jonathan Matamoros, who coordinates the program along with Rick Naughton, said the 20th-year anniversary theme for Out in Two is “Building Bridges.”

He compared the building of the Brooklyn Bridge — which endured setbacks but persevered to become one of the world’s most famous bridges — with the work of Out in Two scholars as they create a bridge to their next step, transferring to a bachelor’s degree program or starting their careers.

“Each semester we are impressed by the scholars we induct. This semester is no different,” said Matamoros. “Though each of these scholars have different passions and goals, they all have a desire to give back. They excel academically while creating community together. I look forward to seeing how those desires unfold during their time here at BMCC, and beyond.”

About 90 percent of the Out in Two graduates go on to four-year colleges,” said Rick Naughton. “They work closely with an Out in Two advisor to create and follow a graduation plan, and along with maintaining their academic standing, they give back to the community by volunteering.”

Out in Two at BMCC has grown significantly in the last two decades, thanks to support over the last two decades from generous funders including the BMCC Foundation, the Derfner Foundation, the Meringoff Family Foundation, the Eugene Lang Foundation and the Southpole Foundation.

BMCC Acting Provost Erwin Wong spoke to the new cohort, congratulating them on their acceptance into the program. “Our primary mission at BMCC is student success,” he said. “What you have accomplished already, demonstrates that you are successful.”

Doris Holz, Vice President of College Development, told the Out in Two scholars, “The BMCC Foundation Board of Directors supports Out in Two and we are extremely proud of you.” Holz also explained that the annual BMCC Invest in a Future Galaraises funds for scholarships, and this year will be celebrating the 20-year anniversary of Out in Two.

Ersilija Reci, who graduated from BMCC in 2016 and was an Out in Two scholar, was the guest alumni speaker.

Now earning a Master in Public Administration at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY, she told the scholars, “I want you to take away from your experience with Out in Two, an important skill — confidence.” The Out in Two program, she said, supports students as they use that confidence to build bridges between the academic and the working world. “A key point to remember is the importance of making connections,” she said.

The Out in Two scholars came up to the stage one at a time to receive a certificate, a symbolic check representing the scholarship they receive, and sign the legacy book.

Out in Two scholar and psychology major Rhys Suero said, “Out in Two helps you tap into resources at BMCC that will help you reach a higher level of education, faster.” Her goal, she said, is to have a career in psychology, helping children and adolescents deal with trauma.

ErsiljaNdiaye, an Out in Two scholar and criminal justice major said, “Eventually, I want to help create positive change in my home country of Senegal, perhaps by opening a law firm or private practice in Dakar.”

Scholars: A – F

Kristi Allaj, Jill Briggs, Jose Cevallos Romero, Cheng Chen, Tidiane Coulibaly, Bernadette Courtines, Tiffany Danielian, Lina Dannmeyer, Cashea Davis, Divian Delgado, Alcian Dennis, Sonam Dorji, Tal Eliyahu, Brianna Faulkner and Stephany Flores.

Scholars: H-P

Abdoul-Hanane Gbadamassi, Jahson Harvey, Linden Isles, Mohamed Jalloh, Anfernee Jervis, Mariam Kassim, Tenzin Kunga, Ramsha Malik, Nathaniel Malone, Ebube Michael, Rebecca Miralrio, Elhadji Ndiaye, Thao Nguyen, Aleksandra Niedzwieckaand Emmanuel Pierre.

Scholars: R-Y

Christian Rivera, Kim Roehrs, Dustin Ross, Zuzana Ryznarova, Boburkhuja Sodikkhujaev, Domingo Sosa, Roland Sosa, Rhys Suero, Shannon Sullivan, Joanna Szczepanik, Elianny Tejada, Chelci Tsaowimonsiri, Floshaunda Wickham, Neisha Worrell, Huan Chun Xu and Szimonetta Young.

For more information, please contact the Out in Two Team at outintwo@bmcc.cuny.edu, or (212) 776-6350.

 

 

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • BMCC Out in Two Award Ceremony on March 7 welcomed 46 students into the program
  • Out in Two, unique to BMCC, was founded by former BMCC President Antonio Pérez to build graduation rates
  • Out in Two scholars receive tuition scholarships and complete requirements to provide service to others

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