by Polly Bresnick on March 13, 2014 in Paths To MCNY with No Comments »
In 2007, Darryl was in a coma for five days after a terrible car accident. He had multiple surgeries on his mouth because every tooth was shattered. He was embarrassed because he felt as if he’d lost his smile. He would cover his face when he talked, afraid that he’d be judged when people saw that he didn’t have any teeth. At the time he hated commercials that showed people smiling. Eventually he learned to cope with these challenges, and he’s not ashamed anymore. He enrolled at TCI in 2012 and received an Associate Degree in Human Services in 2013. That year, he was dealt another severe blow; this time it was Hurricane Sandy. He was living in Staten Island, and he woke up to five feet of water in his house and one wall completely gone. He felt very alone, and he didn’t know what to do. He was placed in temporary housing tents. He continued to attend school, but it was difficult because he didn’t have the resources that most students had (computer, iPad, Kindle, etc.). During this time, he resisted asking for help. He went out of his way to help others, but when it came to asking for help for himself, he didn’t know how. He currently attends MCNY for a Bachelor Degree in Professional Studies. He was recently informed that he’s eligible for Phi Theta. He sees this not only as an incredible honor, but also as a “light at the end of the tunnel.” He has an internship at Housing Works, and he loves it. He’s experienced the staff at MCNY to be very passionate in their work to help students achieve their goals, and he appreciates their support very much. After being at MCNY for a little while, he now knows people care; this has motivated him to apply for the master’s degree program.
by Nathan Schiller on February 27, 2014 in Paths To MCNY with No Comments »
Purpose 1 Business student Saroja Sherpa is originally from Nepal, where she lived for 24 years. While working for CARE International and the Peace Corps, where she was a junior secretary, she learned about the progressive ideas and values of American culture. In particular, she was affected by the idea that women should have no shame in being able to work in society. Eventually, her husband came to the United States, where they thought their son would get a good education. She followed the family soon thereafter, moving to New York City and babysitting (she loves children and even had another son, who is now a teenager). As a babysitter, Saroja began to build her fluency in English by reading children’s books with kids. But, for about a decade, she suffered from a lack of confidence, as she saw how much Americans studied. Ultimately, she decided to get a GED, after which she went to an adult learning center in Brooklyn. The first day there, her teacher, who was 84 years old, gave the class Chinua Achebe’s book “Things Fall Apart.” Saroja read it faster than all her classmates, and enjoyed doing so (she loves reading), which convinced her she was finally ready for college. She enrolled in the Professional Business College, did well, finished quickly, and discovered that all of her credits transferred to MCNY. So here she is!
by Yasmine Alwan on February 26, 2014 in Paths To MCNY with No Comments »
Bahareh Ehsasiyan was born in Tehran. Because of her father’s political views, her family left Iran when she was baby and they immigrated to Germany. Her parents did not know German when they arrived and they had to start “from zero.” Since she was a child, she had a dream to come to America – of coming to a new culture like her parents. She did not get good grades in English though, which proved to be an opportunity much later when she realized that she could come to the US to study. So she came to MCNY, although she found herself fearful to come without her family, to not know the language well and to feel unfamiliar with new expectations. She has decided to speak only English with her German friends even though they want to only speak German; she googles every word she doesn’t understand when she’s reading – which can take a very long time! She is very proud of the fact that all of her grades are A’s. She says, “Sometimes, you have to take a risk – even if you fall, you have to get up and fight – to live for your dreams.”
by Polly Bresnick on February 1, 2014 in Paths To MCNY with No Comments »
Winston is from Surinam.
Winston Pengel speaks seven languages! He was born in Amsterdam and spent his childhood in Surinam. His mother lived in Holland, and his father lived in Surinam, so he traveled a lot between South America and Europe. Growing up, he was always fascinated with American movies and culture. The Black Panther movement in Harlem excited him; he loved the music of Earth, Wind, and Fire; and he was a big fan of Jim Kelly movies. When he was in his 20s, he assisted a fellow countryman with processing his papers for the man’s move to America. The man was very grateful and gave Winston his phone number, insisting that Winston call him if he ever found himself in New York City. After completing his time in the military, Winston boarded a plan to Miami. From Miami, he took a bus to a cold and rainy, but nonetheless thrilling, New York City. Winston didn’t know anyone in the city, so he decided to use that phone number he’d been given years before. The man he’d helped graciously assisted Winston to settle into his new life in The Big Apple. Winston has lived in New York City for over 20 years. He’s three years sober, and he applies his past experiences in his work with recovering addicts. He’s 53, but he feels like he’s 23. He has bright and fiery energy, and he’s determined to excel here at MCNY.