Alumni Stories

January 18, 2022
  “Never Forget Your Roots” — Student Government President Andrew Salmieri Reflects on His Path as a Student Leader    Andrew Salmeiri, a third-generation Italian-American from Brooklyn and current senior at the Colin Powell School, rose from senator to vice president to president of the student government at CCNY. In this interview, he recalls the tightly-knit family relations, the gifted and talented programs, and the Catholic school teachings that laid the foundation of his worldview, which is oriented toward service and social justice. Specifically, Salmieri discusses the… Read More »


January 18, 2022
  “Do Internships!” - South Bronx Native Michael Cruz Tells His Story of Returning to College and Building a Career in the Foreign Service       “You are unique, and you are the only one who can tell your own story,” says Michael Cruz, a Colin Powell School alum who recently won the Charles B. Rangel Fellowship in International Affairs, a prestigious award for aspiring foreign service officers at the US State Department. A native of the South Bronx and child of Puerto Rican parents, Cruz developed a keen interest in international affairs and aspired to serve in the Peace Corps… Read More »


December 14, 2021
  Alejandro Espinosa on Overcoming Autism and Finding a Path into Public Service at the Colin Powell School Alejandro Espinosa first visited the City College campus as a five-year-old learning to ride a bike with his uncle. Little did he know that he would later become a Climate Policy Fellow in the Colin Powell School and be featured on the Today Show reflecting about General Powell’s impact on students like him. As a child and adolescent, Espinosa faced the challenge of being on the autism spectrum. As the child of Mexican immigrants, he also needed ESL support. Unsupportive… Read More »


December 14, 2021
  Senior Aryanna Khan’s Journey from the Front Lines of the Climate Crisis to the COP26 in Glasgow As a child growing up in Bangladesh, Aryanna Khan often had to miss weeks of school due to flooding exacerbated by the climate crisis. With an intuitive understanding that climate change is both an environmental and a social issue, she chose to study both biology and sociology at CCNY. She was selected to join the inaugural cohort of Climate Policy Fellows at the Colin Powell School and recently participated in the Conference of Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, where she was… Read More »


December 14, 2021
  Exploring the Other Side of Economics: How Lesly Calle Discovered the Solidarity Economy as a Path to Reduce Social Inequality  Senior Lesly Calle started at CCNY as a Chemistry major. As Calle’s awareness of social inequality grew, she switched her major to economics and international studies. She has dedicated herself to studying economic democracy, worker ownership, and community wealth-building as methods of eradicating inequality by deeply transforming our social and economic institutions. This led her to become both a Climate Policy Fellow and Racial Justice Fellow in… Read More »


December 09, 2021
  Reflective Paper of General Powell impact on my life  My name is Serigne Cheikh Modou Kara CISSE and I am currently a Graduate Student in Economics at Colin Powell School - City College. I graduated with my Master’s Degree in International Affairs at City College of New York on June 03, 2019, the last day when I had a final handshake and last selfie with General Colin Powell. I also spent my undergraduate life at City College majoring in International Studies (with concentration in International Relations) and Economics (with concentration in Financial Economics).  I came… Read More »


November 15, 2021
  Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help: Alumna Melissa Olivar on Her Path as a Burgeoning Expert on Environmental Justice    After witnessing first-hand the mistreatment experienced by her mother and other Mexican immigrants who work hard doing essential work for little pay, Melissa Olivar was determined to earn a Bachelor’s Degree and make a better life for herself and her family. Having a natural inclination toward science, she started as a chemistry major but later switched to sociology and international studies. At the Colin Powell School she became a Koch Fellow and Climate… Read More »


September 20, 2021
  With Faith in Yourself, You Can Make the Impossible Possible: Keyla Pereira on Her College Journey Amidst the Pandemic Keyla Pereira is a senior majoring in Economics with a minor in Business Administration. In this interview, Pereira discusses her experience with daunting transitions: assimilating as an immigrant from Ecuador in a new high school in New York City, deciding to stay in the city for college, changing to a different major at a different CUNY campus, making the best of remote learning after the pandemic thwarted her study abroad plans, and finally exploring the… Read More »


September 20, 2021
  Make Connections and Research Opportunities: Amanur Rahman on how Study Abroad and the JP Morgan Mentorship Program Changed His Life Born in Bangladesh, Amanur Rahman migrated to the United States in 2010 and became the first in his family to graduate from college when he earned a degree in Economics at City College. With assistance from the SEEK program and the CUNY Chancellor Scholarship, Rahman had a transformative study abroad experience in Europe that helped him gain clarity on his career path. He then became a fellow of Project BASTA, a program for first-generation… Read More »


July 20, 2021
  Aneesah Saeed: Listening to Her Calling as an International Social Justice Leader   Aneesah Saeed started college as a pre-med major, but she soon discovered that medicine was not her calling. Driven by recurring memories of child poverty and exploitation that she had witnessed as a girl in Pakistan, she joined the International Studies program at the Colin Powell School, committed to working to solve these problems at their root. In this interview, she tells of her upbringing as a biracial Pakistani-Italian American. She discusses how, as a student, she has found mentors,… Read More »


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Last Updated: 08/26/2020 16:36