by Yasmine Alwan on February 24, 2015 in LEC Scholars with No Comments »
When I was unable to find a good paying job with my Associate’s degree in Business Management, I decided to enroll back in school. There was a college fair at my previous college, and I met a representative from MCNY there. I picked MCNY because the classes are smaller, and the schedule is flexible — I’m a mother of three. I was born in Jamaica and I immigrated here when I was nine. My goal is to complete my Bachelor’s degree and start my business afterwards – I would like to start a transportation company.
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 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.