by Ren Evans on August 17, 2015 in Paths To MCNY, Uncategorized with No Comments »
Layla St. Hilaire was born and raised in New York City. Her family is from Grenada and she tries to visit her Grandmother there as often as she can. Layla joined the work force immediately after finishing high school. She often told herself she would go to college but other things got in the way. With the encouragement of a close friend and former MCNY student, as well as the support of several of her clients, Layla made the call and enrolled at MCNY in Human Services.
Before coming to MCNY, Layla worked as a home health aide. Currently, she works for the NYC Housing Authority. Her favorite part of working in the home health field was the great relationships she built with clients. Working with people is a skill that comes naturally to her.
Layla’s goal at MCNY is not only to get her degree but to learn more about herself and others. The demands of work and school keep her busy but she enjoys staying active and finds learning to be an enjoyable experience. In the future, Layla hopes to work with people with developmental disabilities.
by Polly Bresnick on July 16, 2015 in Paths To MCNY with No Comments »
Biography of Myself: Kayo Kudo
I was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan. Until recently, I worked for the Japanese Consulate full time for 5 years. I have also been teaching at the Japanese community school, Brooklyn Nihongo Gakuen (BNG), on Saturday for three years. Teaching at the BNG has been very challenging because we only meet once a week, but I find so much joy and passion in helping my students learn. It is my wish to do this amazingly rewarding job as my full time career.
Today, there is a movement to meet the needs of bilingual education into the public school system. I am very fortunate to have been introduced to a group of amazing individuals who are creating the first Japanese-English Dual Language Program in New York City. Through my current community work at BNG, I have been offered a position to work as a bilingual teacher after obtaining a teaching license.
After this opportunity came into my life, I was searching for several graduate programs around the city. When I came into the graduate open house for MCNY, I was very impressed with their educational method, a purpose-centered education. I also found many staff including admission specialists and professors from the Education department were very kind and helpful.
Since I joined MCNY’s the Master of Science in Education, I have been having amazing and intensive learning experiences from my classes, professors, and fieldwork. At the beginning of the first semester, I was having hard time completing my assignments on time since this program is required to take 6 classes per semester. During this time, my writing specialist from the learning enhancement center, Polly, patiently listened to my concerns and obstacles. Polly helped me not only for improving my writing but also developing essential skills including time management and graphic organizers to become an efficient learner. She always gives me positive encouragements and insightful feedback to motivate me to be a better writer. Through her assistance, I have been able to improve my writing skill to express my thoughts and opinions in better manners.
The whole MCNY family including my professors and learning enhancement center staff helps me to become a true educator who can inspire and guide students to realize their potential while providing nurturing learning environment. The MCNY supports me to pursue my dream job to work with children with both Japanese and American heritage in the near future.
by Nathan Schiller on February 18, 2015 in Paths To MCNY with No Comments »
My name is Tanvir Raman. I am from Bangladesh. I completed my associate’s degree in March 2014 from Professional Business College. My major was Office Technology. Last September I went to MCNY to find information about a bachelor’s degree. I met Christopher Saldivar there, who is the Associate Director of Admissions. I told him that I was looking to do my bachelor’s but am confused which major to study. He told me there is a new major, Emergency Management Business Continuity. He explained that this major has a lot of jobs in the market. I agreed to sign up for class in January 2015. So far I am enjoying my classes. I am getting lot help from the Learning Enhancement Center. It is helping me to develop my writing. MCNY is a pretty college is clean all the time. There are so many computers in the college, students have no problem using them. The MCNY library is awesome; it has all the textbooks for classes. You can go to the library to read or make copies to bring home to study.
by Yasmine Alwan on January 6, 2015 in Paths To MCNY with No Comments »
When I was a kid, my mom brought me to the Women’s Talent Corps, which was how I first got familiar with the College for Human Services. My mother was a barmaid on a 125th street at the time, and somehow she got plugged into the Women’s Talent Corps program that Audrey Cohen had started. My dad was an alcoholic who prided himself on being the first “Negro” in the NY city post office – he had a congressional award that he had over his bed that he always used to point out. After the divorce and the domestic violence with my dad, my mom decided that she wanted to do something with herself, and wanted to be a paralegal. She was self-educated, only having a sixth grade education, but she was determined that she was somebody.
There was a lot of talk, these new terms going around, like “empowerment” – that’s what pulled folks to gravitate towards going after the American dream. What they were saying was that education was going to be the way.
I am at MCNY and it feels like a natural order of things. I got my BPS and now I am getting my MBA. My mother came through the system (MCNY) and I look up to her. She was my first role model. It was all about making my parents proud of me, because if they were proud of me, that’s what made me happy.
MCNY’s whole-system approach, the idea that there were a bunch of systems intertwined, was new for me. There was a lot of energy floating around the college. There were a lot of people who looked like me, who had the same values that I had, and some of us even shared the same culture, so I could feel comfortable here. It was a nontraditional, experiential – I didn’t know the term “hands-on” until I got here! I started college at a late age and was very fearful of starting school. There were a lot of people who were also adult learners and that helped me anchor myself here. Some of the professors I met made me feel like I could do it. I am a fearful person, and I always wonder if I can share the same space with educated people, often feeling inadequate. When I got here, there were a lot of positive people and my negative self-talk began to disappear. I started growing, and thinking out of the box. I wasn’t so shallow, with the-I’m-black-and-you’re-white mentality. MCNY has played a role in helping me grow up. If I hadn’t come here, I’d probably still be doing barbering on 129th Street and Lenox in my small, small world.
by Nathan Schiller on October 21, 2014 in Paths To MCNY with No Comments »
Shawnese has lived in Teaneck, NJ, and Harlem. She learned about MCNY when her cousin graduated from here with a Masters in Public Affairs. The school felt at home for her from the first day. She liked the small class settings, which allowed her to really know her professors, and the class schedule worked with hers. She is only in her first Purpose as an undergraduate in Human Services — she takes classes at the Bronx Extension Center but one day she hopes to do her Masters here as well.
by Polly Bresnick on October 10, 2014 in Paths To MCNY with No Comments »
I returned back to school because I was tired of feeding and believing my redundant excuses such as “I’ve been out of college for over 18 years”; “How would I repay my student loans?” And “how would I juggle full-time employment and being a full-time student?” But my truth was I was scared, scared to fail, scared to challenge myself. I initially allowed fear to dictate my life and halt my destiny. It left me in a debilitating place in my life because I was trying to figure out what was my purpose; I struggled for quite some time trying to understand why I was so unhappy and angry. I blamed others for my emotional and unpredictable mood swings. I did some soul searching and realized why I was unhappy and angry, I wasn’t pleased with the job I’ve been with for 9 years, my life felt so monotonous without a purpose or a reason and I didn’t feel like I was making a difference.
I knew what I was passionate about, but I needed to understand how to execute it. I truly believe I was given a gift, and that’s to give back to those in need. I want to provide support and understanding, but for me to assist someone else with support, I have to provide support to myself. I have to begin the process again of believing in myself, knowing my worth and knowing that all things are possible. I started feeling good about myself again because I realized this was my new beginning.
I knew very little about Metropolitan College of New York, so I decided to do my research. MCNY offered Human Services with flexible course schedules, so the only thing that was left for me to do was to enroll. I was still apprehensive because fear was still my security blanket, but I told myself there will be no more excuses; I have something to prove to myself and to see through on my passion; I needed to start living my truth.
September 13, 2014, I began my journey at Metropolitan College of New York as a full time student, majoring in Human Services. I will admit, I have a very challenging road ahead, but I’m following my passion because I believe that’s what I’m meant to do. Taking the time to evaluate who I am has definitely changed my perception of what I’m capable of doing. All things are possible if I believe in myself and stay focused and determined. I’ve been standing in my own way for quite some time, but I’ve made a conscious decision to get off the bench and begin playing on the court.
by Polly Bresnick on July 29, 2014 in Paths To MCNY with No Comments »
Virginia Maldonado has lived in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn her whole life. In addition to being a student in the Business Administration Bachelor’s program here at MCNY, Virginia works as a home health aid. After raising nine children, she attests, her work in the home healthcare service has given her the opportunity to continue to deepen her sense of patience.
Studying for her Associate’s degree was challenging work, and her vocal cord seizures added to the struggle. After completing her AA, Virginia felt she’d never return to school. But it wasn’t long before she started to miss being in school, and when she visited MCNY, she knew it was the right fit. Someone she spoke to here had reviewed her transcripts, and upon seeing how well she did as a business student, urged her to enroll in the Business Administration program at MCNY. The fact that this person believed in Virginia instilled in her a confidence that helped her decide to enroll here and continue to achieve academic success in the field of business.
When she first started here, Virginia felt like she was cranking her brain up like an old engine. It was challenging! But it was so satisfying to get positive feedback and realize, “Wow! I’m really doing this! I wrote this essay! I prepared this Business Plan! I’m doing this!” She has not allowed her age to get in the way of her education.
The teachers and students Virginia has encountered here have opened doors for her and inspired her to make positive choices about her education. With their help, she’s developed effective learning strategies that have helped her reach her goals, she’s felt motivated to pick up the phone and get things done. She has felt empowered to not allow obstacles to stand in the way of her success.
In addition to feeling motivated by her teachers and fellow students, when Virginia encounters challenges, she thinks of her nine children. It’s important to her to be a model to them, and to prove to them by example, that it’s never too late to advance your education. She hopes that her own perseverance will help her children believe in themselves and not get discouraged by their age or any other obstacles. Her oldest son is currently working with an outreach program to educate young people about reproductive health and substance abuse, and he plans to stay with the program and enroll in college through a scholarship they offer their employees. Virginia is very proud of him, and she smiles, reminded by his success and her own that “age ain’t nothing but a number!”
by Nathan Schiller on June 23, 2014 in Paths To MCNY with No Comments »
I was raised in Coney Island, Brooklyn, along with my three sisters and brother. I witnessed issues such as addiction, domestic violence, and gun violence damage many of the families around me. During those years, I was also lumped into stereotypical assumptions of character based on my ethnicity and what neighborhood I called home. The discrimination that I experienced and my environment are reasons I am enrolled in MCNY’s Human Services degree program today. My first attempt at college was in 2004. The transition from Leon M. Goldstein high school to John Jay College was not easy. I was 17 years old, fresh out of high-school, and full of anxiety. Reasons for dropping out of John Jay were: 1. Confusion, 2. Enrollment in courses I was not interested in and 3. The inability to juggle the demands of work, school, family and my social life. Subsequently, I spent my time quitting every job that hired me because there were no opportunities for growth. I also completed training programs along the way, which I felt would broaden my horizons. Although I did well, I exited each program with an overall sense of unpreparedness and lack of sufficient work experience. I decided to return to college because a degree is necessary for me to achieve the level of success I desire. My first college experience was a culture shock. I felt like I was doggy paddling my way through my classes, barely able to keep my head above the water. The second time around, factors that have contributed to my success at MCNY are: accepting feedback, having clear goals, utilizing available resources, and learning how to manage my time. In addition, the faculty continuously challenges me to raise the bar of my own expectations. I have learned not to be ashamed to ask for help, to take charge of my learning; revisiting the basics often is necessary, and achieving a balance is difficult but possible.
by Yasmine Alwan on June 12, 2014 in Paths To MCNY with No Comments »
Following the devastating earthquake in Haiti on January 12, 2010, I was selected with five other Haitian students to come to New York and study Emergency and Disaster Management at MCNY to help Haiti for future disasters. I was very excited because it was one of my dreams to study in the U.S. But when I took a seat in class, I could barely understand what was said because the way I used to pronounce words was completely different from the way there are pronounced in the United States.
During that first week, I submitted my first assignment for my writing class to my writing professor. She gave me back the paper and said that she was not able to grade because she did not understand it. At that moment, I felt I was going straight toward failure in that Master’s program. I could read in the professors’ eyes that we were a casting mistake.
During our welcoming ceremony at Borough Hall, I made a speech that made everyone clap their hands. At that moment, I realized my chance to succeed in the program was not over, but I was at the beginning of a challenging journey. I knew my failure would have been a failure for my country and giving up was not an option. It was one of the greatest challenges of my life. Therefore, I decided to read more, take ESL classes, make the MCNY library my new home, and go to the LEC to improve my writing. At the end of the semester, I had an A for my writing class. And now, I just finished my first novel: I Dare You To Try It, that will be published soon. Thanks to LEC.
I was shy because of my accent, but Prof. Motola advised me to speak up. So I became more confident in my presentations. Some professors especially Prof. Chuck Frank and Prof. Mick Maurer, challenged us regardless of our origin, which built our capabilities. The college also organized a trip to Chile where we gained more knowledge and skills in disasters. I was very proud of my 3.83 total GPA.
What really makes MCNY special is the way the staff empower students with knowledge, skills, and self-confidence. A special thanks to God, my family, the Council Member, Matthieu Eugene, and MCNY. It was a wonderful experience for me at MCNY. The MCNY staff (admission, financial aid, registrar, LEC, etc…), my classmates, and my professors were amazing.
by Polly Bresnick on June 10, 2014 in Paths To MCNY with No Comments »
Clarita was born in Pereira, Colombia. She lived there into her adult years, and earned a masters degree there in Educational Administration. Throughout her years of eclectic professional experience in Colombia and here in the United States, she has worked as a teacher, a public health educator, a city government interpreter, and a chauffeur! Her sculpture has been commissioned by various institutions, and she has been awarded various recognition for her other art work. She came to MCNY with a desire to further develop her professional skills and contribute to the fascinating field of emergency and disaster management. As English is her second language, she still struggles a bit with pronunciation, but she does not let that impede her from engaging enthusiastically with her studies and following her curiosities with tireless passion. She practices her pronunciation by repeating new words aloud until they become more familiar. Though challenging and frustrating at times, this practice is important to her because she wants to ensure that her speaking ability matches her level of intelligence – it’s important to her, as it is to everyone, to be understood! She loves New York City and is passionate about being involved in the city’s emergency and disaster management in meaningful ways that make a difference.