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September 27, 2012

CCNY Awards 12 President’s Community Scholarships

President's Scholars Fall 2012

Eleven of the 2012 City College President's Scholars on campus with CCNY president Lisa S. Coico. From left: Sue Johnson, Naila Khawaja, Cynthia Ortigoza, Jhojanny Mateo, Muhammad Eid, Dr. Coico, Sergio Reyes, Christopher Guerrero, Jennifer Guzman, Jatnna Taveras, Laura Arias and Yessica Gomez.




High-Achieving Students From Upper Manhattan and Bronx Receive Stipends Covering Tuition


Twelve high-achieving students from upper Manhattan and the Bronx are the latest recipients of City College of New York President’s Community scholarships to study free at CCNY.

The freshmen, mostly from immigrant families, are the third cohort of Community Scholars since the program began in 2010. CCNY President Lisa S. Coico introduced the scholarships shortly after her tenure began to strengthen the links between the institution and the surrounding community. To date, 26 students have received the scholarships.

The 2012 CCNY President’s Community Scholars are:

•  Jatnna Taveras, Manhattan, City College Academy of the Arts;

•  Yessica Gomez, Manhattan, A. Philip Randolph Campus High School;

•  Laura Arias, Manhattan, City College Academy of the Arts;

•  Jeremy Scales, Manhattan, Frederick Douglass Academy;

•  Sergio Reyes, Manhattan, Frederick Douglass Academy:

•  Christopher Guerrero, Manhattan, Frederick Douglass Academy;

•  Naila Khawaja, Manhattan, Thurgood Marshall Academy;

•  Jhojanny Mateo, Manhattan, City College Academy of the Arts;

•  Cynthia Ortigoza, Manhattan, Frederick Douglass Academy;

•  Muhammad Eid, Manhattan, A. Philip Randolph Campus High School;

•  Jennifer Guzman, Bronx, Community Health Academy of the Heights;

•  Sue Johnson, Manhattan, City College Academy of the Arts.

“I’d like to welcome this new group of exceptional students to CCNY,” said President Coico. “There are so many outstanding young people in the community around City College who represent its greatest resource, and we’re proud to support them. It remains a priority of ours to expand our ties with our neighbors and to thank the community, and this is one way of doing both.”  

Awards are based strictly on academic merit. Each Scholar receives $5,000 support renewable for up to five years. They are required to perform community service and maintain good academic standing as a condition for renewal.

The 2012 Scholars were all enthusiastic in their appreciation for the awards, without which attending college would have been either difficult or, in some cases, impossible.

“It’s a privilege and I’m extremely grateful because without the scholarship I would have never been able to attend college,” said Christopher Guerrero, a graduate of the Frederick Douglass Academy in Harlem, who is the first of his family to attend college. Born in New York to Dominican parents, the Manhattan resident plans to major in advertising and public relations.

Naila Khawaja, the daughter of Pakistani immigrants and also the first in her family to attend college, cried with joy. She made the National Honor Society Honor Roll while a student at Thurgood Marshall Academy, however, her dream of becoming a doctor appeared daunting until she received the scholarship.

“It would be have been difficult,” Ms. Khawaja, who lives in Manhattan, conceded. “But once I found out that I had been awarded the scholarship, I was extremely happy and my eyes filled with tears.”

 Some of the students said the awards had eased the financial burden their families would have otherwise had to bear for their education.

Cynthia Ortigoza, who graduated from Frederick Douglass Academy with several top honors, said the scholarship would cover expenses such as books and transportation. “It’s a tremendous relief,” she added. At Frederick Douglass, Ms. Ortigoza received the Physics Award, Top Honors Award and the Newspaper Award. She also was a third place winner in the New York City Science and Engineering Fair’s Behavioral Sciences category.  

The President’s Community Scholars Program is made possible by generous support from the following donors: Maurice and Lilian Barbash; Rudolph C. Brancati and Eugene F. Brancati, Jr.; Hugh F. Butts and family; Bernell K. Grier; Arthur J. Levin; Shade K. Little; Edward Mapp; Martin Schwartz; Ivan E. Stux; the estate of Else S. Rohner; the estate of Esther C. Wheeler, and the Sy and Ginny Levy Family Fund of the Minneapolis Foundation.

Robert R. Detwiler, Joseph D. Digiacomo, Stanley Hart, Allen R. Hillery, Bernard E. Jackson, Clyde W. Jones, Mournir Khalil, Yolanda C. McFadden, Vera B. McKie, Joseph R. Privitera, Domenico S. Procopio, Marshall Rose, Yvonne M. Samuels, Joan R. Siff, Palmer G. Tagle, William Welk and Rafia Zafar.

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