Queensborough Community College: Graduation Paths: Spring Graduates (and Alumni) Share Success Stories
May 17, 2021
I am LGBTQ. I dropped out of high school at 16 because I was mercilessly bullied and also because I had an undiagnosed learning disability. As a chronic absenteeism, I had the choice of attending a strict boys’ school or a trade school. I chose to attend a cosmetology school and worked as a hairdresser for 30 years. All the while I have wondered what it would be like to go back to school. When I was 51 my brother lost his battle with lung cancer and I knew then life was short and I had to give it a try.
I was very age conscious when I enrolled at Queensborough Community College, but I immediately felt welcomed by the staff and faculty who made me feel like an experienced and valued person. I am an Art Major and have been selected twice to participate in the annual student jurors exhibition. I will transfer to Queens college to study ceramics, sculpture and photography. I am surprised at how much I have been able to accomplish and I will miss everyone very much. Thanks, Queensborough. I owe you a great debt. Emilio Aguirre, ’21
I was born in Baghdad, Iraq, and came to the United States in 2010 as a refugee. I obtained this status because of my former affiliation with the US military in Iraq after the 2003 war. I have lived in New York since I arrived. My passion for science and physics started at a late age. I decided to visit Queensborough to see if science was a specialty I wanted to pursue and met a great team of STEM advisors who helped me choose my courses.
Now after two years I am graduating. Queensborough has been a great school for me. I have met many great teachers and made friends with some great classmates. This summer, I plan to attend the AstroCom NYC Fellowship where I will work on Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN), which is a region in the center of galaxies that emits high energy radiation and illumination. In the fall I plan to move to College of the City.
Not all galaxies and colleges have high energy and high illumination, but Queensborough has both and will always inspire my scientific curiosity to answer the question, why? John Meftah, ’21
During my first year of high school, I had a graphic design course that sowed a seed in me that became my passion for design and art. When I first arrived in Queensborough, I had the same feeling as I did then – the pure joy that comes from creating something complex from a little spark in my imagination. The digital art and design teachers inspired my imagination and encouraged me to shoot for the stars, which has helped me immensely in learning and growing as an artist. I am very proud that my art has been included twice in the annual Student Juror Exhibition.
The community of Queensborough is intimate and supportive in a way that I did not experience in my old college and through this community I have become more confident in my skills and in myself. Becoming a student at Queensborough was one of the best decisions of my life. I am now in my first semester at Queens college where I study in the Design BFA program, but I will always remember how my experience in Queensborough shaped my view of learning and life. Rebecca Huynh, ’20
I came to Queensborough as a transfer student in Spring 2020 because I had heard so many great things about the dance program! Dancing has always been my passion and I plan to pursue a professional career in this field. When Covid hit everything was turned upside down, including the school, which closed a year ago in the middle of the spring semester. Queensborough really showed up and made a seamless transition to a virtual learning environment. My teachers were absolutely wonderful, understanding and very supportive, especially on the days when I was filled with anxiety and stress. They made me feel stronger to continue and achieve my goals. Recently I moved to New Jersey and will be transferring Rutgers University to study dance. Khayla Mcleod, ’21
When I first started applying to junior high school, my first choice was Montclair State University. I felt good about entering as the school had a high acceptance rate and I felt like my dance audition went well. After a long overdue decision, I found myself on the waiting list. A week later, I received a rejection letter. I was so disappointed and really depressed for the rest of my senior year. I wasn’t going to be in a dorm with a nice roommate and I wasn’t going to train in the amazing Montclair studios. But my mother’s words of encouragement kept me going!
She encouraged me to apply to Queensborough. At first, I thought it wasn’t school for me, but I found it wasn’t true at all.
There is a stigma about community colleges that is totally unfounded. I have met a lot of great people and all of my dance teachers have been extremely attentive. They really inspired me to grow as a dancer, artist, performer and choreographer. I was also a member of the Accelerated Study in Associate Program (ASAP) which helped me a lot financially.
Our showcase for the last semester took place on Zoom on May 16th.
It was a bittersweet event! This past year we have all had to overcome many challenges. All of the dance majors have worked diligently on their studio dance pieces and the fact that one of the dances was live on zoom makes me feel so honored to be a part of it. This fall I will transfer to Montclair State University! So happy and ready to celebrate this wonderful news! Nadia Simmons, ’21
This press release was produced by Queensborough Community College. The opinions expressed here are those of the author.