Alumni Stories

July 27, 2020
Colin Powell School graduate Jose Lopez-Hernandez recently celebrated his two-year anniversary working with the Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights. A beneficiary of DACA, Jose knows first-hand about the struggles immigrants face on their paths towards lawful residency. As a CCNY student, Jose spent a semester in DC interning for Congressman Adriano Espaillat and proved himself to be a strong advocate for immigrants. Through his time working in the Congressman’s office and with the Democratic Governors Association, Jose developed a network of contacts that helped… Read More »


February 04, 2020
Mama Cax, a 2013 International Studies graduate, model, and vocal advocate for people living with disabilities, died in London on December 16, 2019, due to complications from blood clots. Born Cacsmy Brutus in Brooklyn to Haitian immigrant parents, Cax confronted a number of obstacles throughout her life, including bone and lung cancer, an unsuccessful hip replacement surgery, and the subsequent amputation of her right leg. After initially struggling to accept the loss of her leg, Cax became an activist and advocate for the… Read More »


November 25, 2019
Rumer LeGendre, a 2019 graduate of the Colin Powell School, took full advantage of the opportunities that the Colin Powell School provides to prepare students for careers in public service. She interned at the National Organization for Women through the school's Semester in Washington, DC program, and now she is interning at Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez's office through the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Emerging Leader on Capitol Hill program.  Please tell me a little about your background. I was born and raised in Clinton Hills, Brooklyn, but I now reside in… Read More »


October 29, 2019
A moment with 2006 Alumnus Trevor Houser Where are you from, and when did you come to New York CIty? I was born in a small town in Wyoming. My parents divorced when I was seven, after which my mom moved around a bit. I would spend a year or two with her--in Wisconsin, Arizona and then Oregon--and then a year or two back in Wyoming with my dad. I dropped out of high school at the end of my sophomore year and moved to New York when I was 19. How did you decide to go back to school?  I was living in Brooklyn working as a butcher's… Read More »


October 10, 2019
What brought you to City College and then, the Colin Powell School? I am a product of the City University of New York. I settled in Staten Island, so I naturally attended the College of Staten Island (CSI). My exposure to the CUNY system convinced me that CUNY and all its colleges across the city are the best way to get an affordable, quality education.  After graduation from CSI and a stint at the CUNY Graduate Center, I decided to go back to acquire another bachelor’s degree from the CSI and this is where my life and CCNY… Read More »


September 09, 2019
A moment with Johanna E. Ureña, Project Manager for President Boudreau and The City College of New York What brought you to City College and the Colin Powell School?  I was working for the American Red Cross of Greater New York and always knew that I wanted to continue my college career in International Affairs. I had conducted research throughout New York City to find which University will be a perfect fit for me, especially monetarily as I was paying out of pocket. I found the City College of New York and it’s growing programs. They provided evening courses which was… Read More »


August 12, 2019
Can you tell us about your background? Where are you originally from and what brought you to CCNY and The Colin Powell School? I grew up in rural Upstate New York, where my parents live as members of a religious commune where no one owns any property and they grow most of their own food. After high school, I left the commune and got a job drilling water wells, with no plans to go to college. A year later, I ended up applying late in the cycle to CCNY as their application window was one of the few still open. My first trip to New… Read More »


February 22, 2019
Black people's natural hair has long been stigmatized in professional settings. One past Colin Powell School Fellow decided that being authentic was not just something that needed to happen but something that had to happen. Clinical Psychologist Dr. Gillian Scott-Ward, director of the film Back to Natural, was selected by the NYC Commission on Human Rights to lead trainings on racial bias for businesses found to have discrimination against employees on the basis of hair style.  The NYC Commission of Human Rights announced new… Read More »


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