Student Stories

April 20, 2021
  “It Is Ok Not to Know What You Want to Do,” Xin Ying Wu on Discovering Her Path in Public Service   As an undergraduate, Xin Ying Wu studied economics, intending to apply what she learned to her family’s Chinese food restaurant, where she had worked as an adolescent after migrating to the US as a child. Then a chance encounter in the Colin Powell School Fellowships Office - along with deep conversations with colleagues, mentors, and fellow students - led her to discover a passion for public service. She now works in the New York State Assembly and will finish her Master in… Read More »


April 20, 2021
  Nonya Khedr (Class of ‘21) Is on a Mission to End Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C)   Nonya Khedr is an Egyptian immigrant and student of international studies and human rights at the Colin Powell School. As a student she developed a deep commitment to advocating for women and eradicating the practice of Female Genital Mutilation or Cutting (FGM/C) globally. Focusing on this goal, she started an organization called SheFFA with support from the Zahn startup incubator, re-established the United Nations campus chapter, and was both a Colin Powell Fellow and Skadden… Read More »


January 19, 2021
Tell me about your background. Where are you from?    I am from here. I was born and raised in the Bronx. I’m Puerto Rican and Dominican. My mom was born in PR, my dad in DR. They both came at fairly young ages to the United States. We grew up working class. We never had much but I was always fortunate and blessed to have food, clothing, and all the necessary things while still being able to get quality education at public schools. I attended public schools my whole life in the Bronx. I went to Health Opportunities High School. At that time, I thought I wanted to be in the… Read More »


October 27, 2020
  “Stop Overthinking Your Qualifications” - CCNY Senior Ana LuoCai on How Internships Can Shape Your College Experience Like most students, Ana LuoCai was told that internships are an important part of the college experience, but what sets her apart is just how seriously she took that advice. Ana, a senior at CCNY in the Macaulay Honors College majoring in political science and public policy, is currently on her seventh internship working as a policy Intern at the Asian American Federation. An immigrant from Peru, Ana is passionate about promoting civic engagement,… Read More »


September 14, 2020
After exploring editorial and culinary careers, Ariana Smith found her passion for international humanitarian law and human rights and enrolled in the joint program in law and international affairs offered by the Colin Powell School and CUNY Law. A course on nuclear policy taught by Dr. Jean Krasno, the program director, led Ariana to complete an internship in nuclear policy advocacy. Smith graduated in 2020 and recently became executive director of the Lawyer’s Committee on Nuclear Policy, which strives for a world free of nuclear weapons.   Where are you from and what is your… Read More »


September 14, 2020
Clinical psychology student Melodie Perez is making the most of her academic endeavors. Serving as both a statistics peer coach and a student advisor, Melodie is taking advantage of opportunities that have introduced her to the world of counseling. “It allows me to connect with individuals to not just listen, but also help them relieve their distress and dissatisfaction,” says Melodie. Melodie hopes to build on these opportunities to achieve her goal of becoming a psychologist.   Where are you from and what is your background?    I was born and raised in Harlem. My father is… Read More »


May 11, 2020
Congratulations to our Class of 2020 Valedictorian and Salutatorians   The Colin Powell School for Civic and Global leadership is pleased to announce the 2020 Valedictorian and Salutatorians for the Class of 2020.   Valedictorian: Randall Conway                     Randall Conway is a Political Science major whose research interests focus on realism in international politics. After growing up in Connecticut, Randall enlisted in the Air Force at age 17. He spent six years (2007-2013) in Bioenvironmental Engineering stationed at Kirtland AFB. During that time, he… Read More »


March 18, 2020
Dear Colin Powell School Students, I write to share updates and to encourage you to stay in close touch with us at the Colin Powell School via email, phone, and social media as we adjust to social distancing. This has been a difficult week, and we are living through a period of tremendous uncertainty. As we prepare to resume classes remotely tomorrow, our first priority is the health and safety of students, staff and faculty. Toward that end, we have spent the past week retooling courses and adjusting operations. We look forward to being back underway with instruction—albeit… Read More »


February 04, 2020
For most of her young professional life, Kalima Mckenzie-Simms has dedicated herself to helping schools become safer places for LGBTQ youth. Under her leadership, the PFLAG Safe Schools Program has more than tripled its presence in New York City schools. The program counters homophobia, transphobia, and bullying; gives LGBTQ students the support they often lack at home; and educates school communities about sexual orientation and gender identity. In recognition of her tireless and passionate work, Mckenzie-Simms was selected to… Read More »


December 16, 2019
Stanley Azuakola is an international student currently earning his Master’s in Public Administration (MPA) degree at City College. He was recently selected to join the British Council’s Future Leaders Connect, a network of emerging social leaders from around the globe. Before coming to study in the US, Azuakola was politically engaged in his home country, creating new online platforms to improve civic dialogue and participation. In this interview, Azuakola discusses his path to the Colin Powell School, his activism, and his recent… Read More »


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