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  •  LaGuardia Community College Helps Immigrant Nurses Become Re-Credentialed in New York

    LaGuardia Community College Helps Immigrant Nurses Become Re-Credentialed in New York


    Immigrant Nurses


    Long Island City, NY—August 12, 2015—Forty immigrant nurses were honored during a special ceremony at LaGuardia Community College on August 11. All have completed the college’s inaugural NCLEX-RN Preparation Course for English Language Learners (ELLs) to prepare them for the certification exam that is part of the re-credentialing process to return to work as Registered Nurses in the State of New York.

    Operated under LaGuardia’s Center for Immigrant Education and Training, and part of the college’s New York City Welcome Back Center, which guides internationally trained healthcare professionals through New York’s re-credentialing process, the course prepares those with a nursing degree from another country with the English and workforce skills necessarily to pass the state board of nursing’s National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN).

    “The New York City Welcome Back Center helps get underemployed internationally trained healthcare professionals out of low-skilled, entry-level jobs and back into high demand, high paying careers that they are trained for and have valuable experience in,” said Gail O. Mellow, President of LaGuardia. “At the same time, we’re directly addressing the city’s need for a culturally and linguistically diverse healthcare workforce.”

    The NCLEX-RN Preparation Course for ELLs employs LaGuardia’s New York Basic Education and Skills Training (NYBEST) model, which helps students strengthen their technical skills while focusing on contextualized English, in this case, for immigrant nurses. An English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) adult education instructor is paired with a health science faculty member to team‐teach classes, assisting students in developing English language literacy and workplace skills simultaneously. Other support services include test preparation, computer literacy, resume writing and interviewing skills. The intensive course runs for 8 months, 16 hours a week.

    “There is a huge difference in my life before the Welcome Back Center and after,” said America Diaz, a nurse from the Dominican Republic who completed the NCLEX-RN Preparation Course for ELLs in June 2014 and passed the exam that September. “I worked for two years and a half as a Certified Nurse Aide. That was the hardest job I performed in my life. The Welcome Back Center gave me hope. I got the tools to be prepared to take the NCLEX-RN and improved my life.”

    Diaz now works as a school nurse, earning $31 an hour—$21 dollars an hour more than she made as a Certified Nurse Aide—and notes that the environment is much more professional.

    The NYBEST model has proven quite successful in helping others in the same position as Diaz. According to data for both NCLEX-RN (FY14) and NCLEX-LPN (FY11-13) Preparation Courses for ELLs as well as similar training programs at LaGuardia, NYBEST participants have achieved a 98% retention rate over the last seven years of intensive ESOL integrated workforce programs for immigrant professionals. NYBEST NCLEX-LPN graduates have a cumulative pass rate of 93%, which represents double the national LPN pass rate for immigrant professionals (46%). And NYBEST NCLEX-RN graduates have already exceeded the national RN pass rate for foreign educated nurses and are expected to surpass it further over the next quarters.

    LPN students employed at intake more than doubled their wages (120%) by participating in the course, from an average of $12.02 per hour to $26.45 completion. And RN students employed at intake went from an average of $11.61 per hour wages to $29.00 after course completion, a 150% increase.

    These students have come from 19 countries of origin, with Haiti, Tibet, Poland, Colombia and Ecuador being the nations with most representation.

    “The Welcome Back Center not only helped me prepare well for the exam, they even helped me follow up with the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools, which is vital for the whole licensing process,” said Shradha Subba, a nurse from Nepal who completed the course in and passed the NCLEX-RN in the summer of 2014. “In addition, they guided me during my job search. They helped me continue my occupation as a nurse and pursue my passion of serving others.”

    Beata Pieciukiewicz, a nurse from Poland who also completed the course and passed the exam last summer, added, “They teach using a full range of education techniques. They treat us individually and recognize our needs. All the teachers are very professional and passionate about their job.”

    The next cohort of the NCLEX-RN Preparation Course for ELLs will complete the course at the end of the month.

    The New York City Welcome Back Center, which is part of the national Welcome Back Initiative based in San Francisco, California, has been in operation at LaGuardia since 2010. In that time, it has served over 800 individuals through assistance with re-credentialing navigation; career advisement; English language and job readiness assessment; and referrals to educational, job and social support services. It has also directly assisted more than 105 internationally trained healthcare professionals in becoming re-credentialed in the State of New York. Currently, the center has over 700 internationally trained healthcare professionals on its waiting list for services, including physicians, nurses and mental health professionals.

    Services are free to participants, thanks to funding from the New York State Department of Education and New York City Small Business Services, in partnership with the Workforce1 Healthcare Career Center, as well as contributions from City University of New York and LaGuardia.

    For more information about the New York City Welcome Back Center at LaGuardia Community College visit www.laguardia.edu/nycwbc/, call (718) 730-7530 or e-mail nycwbc@lagcc.cuny.edu.

     •     •     •     •


    LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit www.laguardia.edu to learn more.

     LaGuardia Community College President Dr. Gail O. Mellow Joins Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on Panel to Discuss the Future of Higher Ed

    LaGuardia Community College President Dr. Gail O. Mellow Joins Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on Panel to Discuss the Future of Higher Ed



     

    Long Island City, NY—August 6, 2015—At the invitation of United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan,LaGuardia Community College President Dr. Gail O. Mellow joined educators from across the nation at the University of Maryland,Baltimore County, on a panel to discuss the future of higher education in America before a large audience of higher education leaders,policymakers, students, groups, advocates, faculty, trustees and others.


    Secretary Duncan laid out the problem in blunt terms as Congress prepares to revise the nation’s main higher education law. For millions of students, he said, “our higher education system isn’t delivering what they need, or deserve.”


    “I was honored to participate in this vitally important discussion,” said Dr. Mellow. “Accountability for providing students with an affordable, high quality path to a degree is what drives us every day at LaGuardia. It’s the reason we opened our doors over 40 years ago and is at the top of the list of our core values.”


    Watch Dr. Mellow’s remarks, and the full panel discussion

     

    Secretary Duncan called for major shifts in how colleges meet the needs of today’s students.

     

    “America’s students know what they want out of college,” said Secretary Duncan in a speech that laid out his vision for the country’s higher education system of the future. “They want an education that will set them on a path to success. They want control of their future, without decades of overwhelming debt. They want a college degree that will help them thrive, support a family, shape the world and contribute to their communities.”

     

    The Obama Administration has taken strong action to counteract the rising costs of higher education by expanding Pell Grants and making student debt more manageable by expanding loan repayment options that cap payments based on income, Secretary Duncan noted.

     

    Dr. Mellow spoke about the College’s promising initiatives to increase student success, among them LaGuardia’s First In the World Grant, a federally-funded $2.9 million grant to improve student retention and graduation rates.

     

    “LaGuardia has been using the grant to create a system. We’re focusing on three major things,” Dr. Mellow responded. “First, we’ve created bridges between GED programs and college education; the second is investing in faculty education. And the last piece is creative advising.”

     

    Dr. Mellow also shared the success the College has seen in partnering with businesses to address employers’ needs for skilled workers.  She spoke about the work being done to jointly develop curriculum for certificate programs.

     

    Dr. Mellow’s ongoing work as an advocate has given the work, practices and achievements of two-year colleges a strong voice in the media and the national dialogue on higher education. Learn more


    •    •     •     • 


    About LaGuardia Community College
    LaGuardia Community College, located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at a rate 20% higher than the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curricula and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit www.laguardia.edu to learn more.

      

                                                                           

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     Eight LaGuardia Community College Students Receive Venture Funding and Business Training from Capital One Bank

    Eight LaGuardia Community College Students Receive Venture Funding and Business Training
    from Capital One Bank for Tech Start-ups

     

    Long Island City, NY—July30, 2015—Eight budding student entrepreneurs at LaGuardia Community College celebrated completing the Capital One Entrepreneurship Program by presenting their prototypes and pitching their business ideas to a panel of judges for a chance to win $3,000 in seed capital. Tammy Duval-Nam, a Computer Science major and creator of Knowts, a self-tracking app, won first place.

     

    Tammy grew up in California and currently lives in Manhattan with her husband and business partner. She holds a BA in Mathematics and is studying Computer Science at LaGuardia. Her desire to remember everything and analyze her life for insights about herself and the world were the inspiration for Knowts. By passively capturing the big and the little things in life, Knowts makes it easy to hold on to memories, enabling users to see and understand their data in ways that help them draw insights. Tammy plans to continue to develop Knowts while she pursues a career in data science.

     

    “I’m very grateful to the program,” said Tammy. “I learned so much about how to build a business and how to effectively present to investors. It was an invaluable experience and everything I learned will stay with me for a long time.”

     

    The Capital One Entrepreneurship Program is a free business-training program for students at LaGuardia Community College who want to start a profitable business.

     

    During the 11-week training, up to nine entrepreneurs receive access to dedicated co-working space and other office resources and participate in weekly business workshops, individual counseling sessions, and mentorship sessions with Capital One bankers and tech entrepreneurs. The students also receive $1,000 in seed capital to help them build a prototype of their product. The program concludes in a Demo Day.

     

    The program is sponsored by Capital One’s Community Development Banking division and administered by NYDesigns, a program of LaGuardia Community College that catalyzes growth for small businesses and entrepreneurs in the design, technology, and maker spaces. The partnership between Capital One and NYDesigns was established in 2008. Since then, Capital One and NYDesigns have served 94 entrepreneurs.

     

    Starting this spring, the program now specifically supports the creation of technology-based businesses, advancing the missions of both NYDesigns and the College as a whole to nurture the City’s tech sector.

     

    In January, LaGuardia Community College President Dr. Gail O. Mellow, announced that the College would begin implementing a new set of strategies to foster career pathways in tech and nurture the City’s ecosystem of tech jobs and businesses. Meanwhile, NYDesigns, historically a design incubator, had been making its own shift toward technology-driven clients over the past few years. It is with these allied visions in mind that NYDesigns and Capital One decided to launch a tech-oriented track of the Capital One Entrepreneurship Program this year.

     

    Last month’s Demo Day, which took place at Capital One’s 360 Café in Midtown, marked the graduation of the inaugural class in this new phase of the program.

     

    “Congratulations to Tammy and all of the student entrepreneurs at LaGuardia Community College – we wish you success and offer our support as you continue to grow your businesses,” said Nicole Moorer, Senior Vice President at Capital One Bank.  “As a local bank, we are committed to investing in Queens and helping our community to grow and thrive – especially in the technology space. By fostering digital entrepreneurship and enabling students to gain real world experience, we are helping to develop the future innovators and business leaders of our community.”

     

    Following opening remarks, participants and guests watched a video by program alumnus Daniel Finley, Owner of Danny Jive, a photography and videography company, and the fall 2014 business pitch competition winner. In the video, Daniel explained what he had been up to since finishing the program in December: He used his winnings to create new business cards and marketing collateral and to design a more professional website where he could showcase his work, and he also directed several short films, one of which was mentioned in The New York Times. Read the article

     

    Next, the students demoed their bright ideas with the panel.

     

    Co-founded by Anastassiya Neznanova and Katherine Sandoval, both recent LaGuardia graduates who studied Computer Science, 2TeamUp is a social networking platform whose goal is to connect rising entrepreneurs with their team and help them make their idea well-known in the market. Anastassiya and Katherine were inspired by their friends who often had an idea but did not have an easy way of finding the right people to execute it or marketing their idea to reach a broad range of customers.

     

    Steven Elbery, a Computer Programming/Systems major, developed Appjective during the program by analyzing his experiences with app development and researching general concerns of app developers. Using a web-based consultation platform, Appjective’s mission is to help individuals and businesses turn app ideas into ready-to-develop specs and to provide superior app market data.

     

    Vanessa Watson, who is taking classes in American Sign Language in LaGuardia’s Program for Deaf Adults, developed UnBoxxed, a mobile application that transforms how people find clothing and retailers that fit their style, personality, and most importantly, their bodies. UnBoxxed is built on the framework that utilizes members’ body measurements to determine which articles of clothing will best suit their aesthetic, regardless of their designation as menswear or womenswear. 

     

    Evgenia Sorokina, who is studying to be a Physical Therapy Assistant, is the creator and founder of ThunderFit. ThunderFit is an app that uses an image-based database of nutrition and exercise programs to help beginners at the gym find the right workout routines and diet for their body type and lifestyle. An experienced fitness trainer and a graduate of the American Academy of Personal Training, Evgenia expects to launch her app by the end of 2015.

     

    Psychology major Ravensley Rene created Pingmergency,an app that improves emergency response operations when calling 911 from a cell phone. The free downloadable app automatically shows emergency responders callers’ exact location and calculates the fastest route to them, minimizing response time and hopefully saving more lives.

     

    Rafael Santana is the Founder and CEO of FOSM, the first free offline streaming service on the market that seeks to be the preferred music streaming service. A Computer Science major, Rafael has over two years of Android and C/C++ programming experience, as well as more than five years of experience in music production and musical education.

     

    "Entrepreneurship comes down to creativity; imaging a future version of a product or service. Our students accomplished an incredible feat by envisioning their technology product and carrying through fruition," said Capital One Entrepreneurship Program Instructor and Growth Technology Executive Jesse Sandoval.

     

    After presenting their business plans and demonstrating how their prototypes worked, the seven entrepreneurs engaged in a Q&A session with the panel of judges and were scored on their pitches and the viability of their businesses. The panel included representatives from Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator (ERA), a NYC-based early-stage investment firm and accelerator, and Capital One Labs, Capital One’s digital innovation group.

     

    The students came prepared and the competition was tight, but Tammy ultimately took home the top prize of $3,000, which she intends to allocate toward business operations, graphic design, and branding.

     

    The program and associated competition have taken place annually since 2008 and became a biannual occurrence in 2011. Previous participants and winners of the competition have gone on to launch their business ideas into fully functioning businesses, from a line of handmade leather bags to a luxury women’s footwear website to a photography studio with a storefront in Brooklyn.

     

    In 2014, Nadira El Khang—a program graduate, winner of the spring 2012 competition, and Founder and Owner of handmade leather bag company NadiraBag—joined NYDesigns’ competitive incubator program as a resident member, marking the first time a program alumna/us had graduated to NYDesigns’ more advanced program for early-stage businesses.

     

    “This program fosters the professional success and economic independence of our student entrepreneurs by giving them access to the tools needed to create and grow a tech business," said Francesca Fiore, Assistant Dean of Workforce Development and Business Services at LaGuardia Community College. “It positions them as important contributors within the city's rapidly growing tech ecosystem.”

       

    View the photos from Demo Day onFlickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/laguardiaccollege/sets/72157655887719275



    •     •     •     •


       
    Capital One

    Capital One Financial Corporation, headquartered in McLean, Virginia, is a Fortune 500 company with more than 900 branch locations primarily in New York, New Jersey, Texas, Louisiana, Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Its subsidiaries, Capital One, N.A. and Capital One Bank (USA), N. A., offer a broad spectrum of financial products and services to consumers, small businesses and commercial clients. We apply the same principles of innovation, collaboration and empowerment in our commitment to our communities across the country that we do in our business. We recognize that helping to build strong and healthy communities - good places to work, good places to do business and good places to raise families - benefits us all and we are proud to support this and other community initiatives. www.capitaloneinvestingforgood.com.

     

    NYDesigns

     

    NYDesigns, a program of LaGuardia Community College of the City University of New York, catalyzes growth for small businesses and entrepreneurs in the design, technology, and maker communities. We pursue this mission by distributing our work across three fundamental concentrations: business incubation, fabrication, and advocacy. Our initiatives include the NYDesigns incubator, a residency program for early-stage companies that gives preference to companies with significant prototyping or manufacturing needs; an on-site fabrication lab that enables members to prototype and iterate design ideas in a secure, flexible space; and research and discourse aimed at broadening participation and representation in design and affiliated industries. We are proudly located in Long Island City, Queens. For more information, visit www.nydesigns.org.

     

    LaGuardia Community College

     

    LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, graduates transfer to four-year colleges at a rate 20% higher than that of their peers at community colleges nationwide. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit www.laguardia.edu to learn more.

     LaGuardia Performing Arts Center Receives NYC Council Proclamation

    LaGuardia Performing Arts Center Receives NYC Council Proclamation for “Beyond Sacred: Unthinking Muslim Identity”


    Beyond Sacred Proclamation photo

       

    New York City, NY—July 30, 2015—New York City Council Member I. Daneek Miller bestowed a proclamation upon LaGuardia’s Performing Arts Center (LPAC) for its 2014-15 season work entitled “Beyond Sacred: Unthinking Muslim Identity” at an Eid al Fitr celebration at City Hall.

     

    View photos from the event on Flickr.

     

    Faculty, staff and students of LaGuardia Community College gathered in the New York City Council chambers in City Hall to celebrate the end of Ramadan with their recognition. Joining the College as honorees for their work in raising citizens’ awareness of the diversity of the Muslim community in New York City were the Coalition for Muslim School Holidays and the Muslim Officers Society.

     

    Prior to the proclamation ceremony, guests mingled in the rotunda outside the chamber, enjoying Persian food and viewing portraits on display from LaGuardia’s “Faces of Islam” photography exhibit. The event also featured musical performances by The Brooklyn Tech MIST Nasheed Team and The Bangladesh Institute for the Performing Arts.

     

    After an invocation for peace, tolerance and understanding by Imam Askia Muhammad, Council Member I. Daneek Miller welcomed the media and invited guests who gathered to share in the celebrations.

     

    “All the honorees here tonight represent who we are as a community, and their work to highlights the talents and prayers for peace not only in New York City, but across the globe,” said Council Member Miller.

     

    Read the full text of the proclamation.

     

    “The impact ’Beyond Sacred’ has made in our LaGuardia community is powerful,” said LaGuardia Community College President Dr. Gail O. Mellow. “Thanks to the Duke Foundation’s support and the talent and dedication of Ping Chong and LPAC, the ripples from these deeply poignant and powerful performances and images have touched the city itself and by this, we are immensely delighted.”

     

    The “Beyond Sacred: Unthinking Muslim Identity” program brought more than 50 performances and community discussions to the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center (LPAC) on the LaGuardia campus for the entire 2014-2015 season, as well as to performance and public spaces throughout New York City.  The series of dance, live theater, art exhibitions and public forums were designed to create a cohesive cultural program that illuminates life experiences of self-identified Muslims in today’s New York City, and to expand awareness and understanding of Muslim culture in post 9/11 New York City. 


    “‘Beyond Sacred’ was organized around five themes: Beyond Sacred, Gender Sacred, Identity Sacred, Performing Sacred, and Beyond - Beyond Sacred,” said LPAC Managing Director Steven Hitt. "This exploration of Muslim identity through the lens of music, theatre and dance opened a dialogue among Muslim and non-Muslim communities, and has challenged the assumptions of group identity.” 

    “Beyond Sacred” was made possible by a Building Bridges: Campus Community Engagement program grant from The Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art. Additionally, LPAC has received funding through the Mertz-Gilmore Foundation and NYC Department of Cultural Affairs.  

    LaGuardia is one of six colleges nationally, and the only community college, to receive the highly competitive grant in 2014. Other grantees include Georgetown University and Wesleyan University. 

    LaGuardia Community College students also had the opportunity to participate in a Learning Community that examines the “Beyond Sacred” themes in a series of classes. Students attended writing, philosophy and theatre classes together, as well as “Beyond Sacred” discussion panels. 

    Ping Chong + Company (PCC), an internationally recognized troupe known for giving theatrical voice to marginalized communities, presented four performances culled from interviews LaGuardia and PCC members conducted with LaGuardia college students and members of the community. 

    One component of the program, “Beyond Sacred: Voices of Muslim Identity”, received rave reviews earlier this year when it premiered on LPAC’s stage and was selected as a New York Times’ Critics’ Pick. The show will be produced throughout New York City, beginning with performances at Lincoln Center Education’s Summer Forum, and at college campuses in the region.

     

    “On behalf of our collaborators, the Duke Foundation, Ping Chong + Company, and our amazing students, LaGuardia is honored to accept this proclamation as recognition of all the hard work, talent and devotion that went into putting together such a comprehensive, thought provoking, and aesthetically breathtaking program,” said LaGuardia Community College Photography Program Director Scott Sternbach as he accepted the proclamation. “Thank you.”

     


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    AboutLaGuardia Community College


    LaGuardia Community College, located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at a rate 20% higher than the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curricula and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit www.laguardia.edu to learn more.

     

    About LaGuardia Performing Arts Center

    With multiple performance spaces and technical features that rival those of theaters throughout New York City, LaGuardia Performing Arts Center has found its niche within the city’s rich array of cultural resources. LaGuardia Performing Arts Center (LPAC) is located on the campus of LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City, New York. LPAC presents vital high-quality programming intended to give a booming voice to the most diverse community in the world. Already a destination for internationally acclaimed music, dance, and theater acts, LPAC is quick developing into a scene for hot area talent. Visit www.lpac.nyc to learn more.

     LaGuardia and Wagner Archives Release NY Mets Video

    LaGuardia and Wagner Archives Release NY Mets Video as YouTube Channel Reaches Over 300,000 Views

     


    Long Island City, NY—July 28, 2015—With the Mets’ season in full swing, the LaGuardia and Wagner Archives released a new video this week View Video, which features former New York Council Member and State Assembly Member Mark Weprin recounting the championship season of the 1986 New York Mets and his own participation in the team’s Old-Timers Day on July 12, a celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Amazin’ Mets.  The video goes up just as the Archives YouTube channel reaches over 300,000 views.


    “We were making a presentation…it may have been the 25-year anniversary of the Mets- a presentation by the State legislature, and I, being a huge fan of the Mets, weaseled my way in and got to go…,” says Council member Weprin in the video.


    This latest video oral history is just one treasure among many from the Weprin family as the Archives has collaborated with the Special Collections and Archives at Queens College to digitize a selection from the Saul Weprin Collection, the entire print collection of which is housed in the Queens College Special Collections and Archives.  


    “Today, as the Mets edge closer to contention, it is useful to remember what a true championship team looked like,” said Stephen Weinstein, Assistant to the Director of the Archives.


    The collection documents his tenure as both the 24th District Assembly Member and as Speaker of the Assembly and his actions on political, social and cultural issues that impacted the Queens neighborhoods under his jurisdiction.


    Two of the many particularly interesting documents include the Bias-Related Violence Act in 1991—legislation that preceded federal hate crime laws by three years, as well as his support of the 1993 Stalking Law.


    The addition of this collection, especially in a conveniently accessible digital form, adds another dimension to the study of New York City history and politics for researchers and students.


    •     •     •     •


    About LaGuardia Community College

    LaGuardia Community College, located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at a rate 20% higher than the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curricula and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit www.laguardia.edu to learn more.


    About The LaGuardia and Wagner Archives

    The LaGuardia and Wagner Archives was established in 1982 to collect, preserve, and make available primary materials documenting the social and political history of New York City. The Archives is part of Fiorello H. LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City, Queens and holds the personal papers and official documents of Mayors Fiorello H. LaGuardia, Robert F. Wagner, Abraham D. Beame, and Edward I. Koch, the records of the New York City Housing Authority, the piano maker Steinway & Sons, The Council of the City of New York and a Queens Local History Collection. The Archives serves a broad array of researchers: journalists, students, scholars, exhibit planners and policy makers examining the history of Greater New York. The Archives also produces public programs exploring that history. 

     

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     LaGuardia Performing Arts Center Production Goes On Tour 2

    LaGuardia Performing Arts Center Production Goes On Tour


    Long Island City—July 21, 2015—LaGuardia Performing Arts Center (LPAC) at LaGuardia Community College, along with Ping Chong + Company (PCC) will tour their production, “Beyond Sacred: Voices of Muslim Identity,” this summer.


    The groundbreaking piece features a LaGuardia alumni and two current LaGuardia students, alongside a student at New School for Social Research and a Ph.D. candidate from Columbia University, as they share their personal histories as young adults that identify as Muslim.


    “Beyond Sacred: Voices of Muslim Identity” received rave reviews earlier this year when it premiered on LPAC’s stage and was selected as a  New York Times’ Critics’ Pick.


    The show will be produced throughout New York City, beginning with performances at Lincoln Center Education’s Summer Forum, and at college campuses in the region.


    “Beyond Sacred: Voices of Muslim Identity” was created as the focal point of a yearlong series by LPAC titled Beyond Sacred: Unthinking Muslim Identity. Over the course of the last twelve months a variety of dance performances, live theater, films, art exhibitions and public forums were held to expand awareness and understanding of Muslim culture in post 9/11 New York City.


    “These troubled times demand exactly this type of program,” said LaGuardia Community College President Dr. Gail O. Mellow. “Through the arts and dialogue we hope to shatter misconceptions and build deep and long-lasting understanding and connections within our city.”


    Essential to each event has been the opportunity for dialogue between the audience and the performers and artists, as well as special guests, including community and religious leaders, researchers and authors.

    The five participants in “Beyond Sacred: Voices of Muslim Identity” vary in many ways, but share the common experience of coming of age in a post-9/11 New York City, at a time of increasing Islamophobia. Participants come from a range of cultural and ethnic backgrounds and include men and women that reflect a wide range of Muslim identities, including those who have converted to Islam, those who were raised Muslim, but have since left the faith, those who identify as “culturally” Muslim, and those who are observant on a daily basis.

    “Beyond Sacred: Voices of Muslim Identity” was developed through a community-engaged process wherein PCC extensively interviewed local Muslim residents. These interviews become the basis of a script written by Ping Chong and Sara Zatz with Ryan Conarro, performed by the interviewees, that weaves together personal, historical, and political narratives.

    The interviewees, Tiffany Yasmin Abdelghani, Ferdous Dheqan, Kadin Herring, Amir Khafagy and Maha Syed, tell their individual stories with a raw sense of passion and honesty that engages the audience and has been a thread throughout the series.

    Steven Hitt, Managing Director of LPAC, first envisioned the series as an “exploration of culture through the lens of the performing arts” and successfully guided LPAC to being selected for a Building Bridges: Campus Community Engagement program grant from The Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.

    Building Bridges supports U.S. presenters who create interdisciplinary cross-campus and community collaborations that expand awareness, knowledge and understanding of Islamic societies.

    Additionally, LPAC has received funding through the Mertz-Gilmore Foundation and NYC Department of Cultural Affairs. 

    LaGuardia is one of six colleges nationally, and the only community college, to receive the highly competitive grants in 2014. Other grantees include Georgetown University and Wesleyan University.

    The “Beyond Sacred: Voices of Muslim Identity” tour is being made possible by a grant obtained by PCC.

    •     •     •     •

    About LaGuardia Performing Arts Center

    With multiple performance spaces and technical features that rival those of theaters throughout New York City, LaGuardia Performing Arts Center has found its niche within the city’s rich array of cultural resources.

    LaGuardia Performing Arts Center (LPAC) is located on the campus of LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City, New York. LPAC presents vital high-quality programming intended to give a booming voice to the most diverse community in the world. Already a destination for internationally acclaimed music, dance, and theater acts, LPAC is quick developing into a scene for hot area talent. Visit  www.lpac.nyc to learn more.


    About LaGuardia Community College

    LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit  www.laguardia.edu to learn more.


    About Ping Chong + Company

    Ping Chong + Company produces theatrical works addressing the important cultural and civic issues of our times, striving to reach the widest audiences with the greatest level of artistic innovation and social integrity. The company was founded in 1975 by leading theatrical innovator Ping Chong with a mission to create works of theater and art that explore the intersections of race, culture, history, art, media and technology in the modern world. Today, Ping Chong + Company produces original works by a close-knit ensemble of affiliated artists, under the artistic leadership of Ping Chong. Productions range from intimate oral history projects to grand scale cinematic multidisciplinary productions featuring puppets, performers, and full music and projection scores. The art reveals beauty, precision, and a commitment to social justice. Visit  www.pingchong.org to learn more.

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     National Study Finds Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses at LaGuardia Community College Helps Businesses Grow and Create Jobs
    National Study Finds Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses at LaGuardia Community College Helps Businesses Grow and Create Jobs


    Long Island City, NY – July 8, 2015 – An independent study of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses found that participating businesses experience dramatic revenue growth and create jobs, including in New York City where LaGuardia Community College administers the program.

    The second edition of the report, Stimulating Small Business Growth, is based on a study conducted by Babson College, ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the number one undergraduate and graduate business school in entrepreneurship for 18 and 21 consecutive years.

    The program at LaGuardia, now in its fifth year, has guided participants to expand their businesses, increase revenues, create jobs and make a positive impact on the local economy. Because of LaGuardia’s focus on results and deep commitment to students, the College was selected by Goldman Sachs as the first partner site of 10,000 Small Businesses and has helped forge the program into what it is today.

    In operation at 25 locations around the world, 10,000 Small Businesses is a $500 million investment to help entrepreneurs by providing them with greater access to education, financial capital and business support services. The program maintains a 99% graduation rate and creates opportunities for collaboration among program alumni. LaGuardia has graduated more than 470 small businesses from the program.

    10,000 Small Businesses provides small business owners with the tools and strategies they need to take their businesses to the next level and to create jobs,” said Dr. Gail O. Mellow, president of LaGuardia. “Goldman Sachs has done a tremendous job of investing in the future of our community by creating this program.”

    Babson reports that globally 10,000 Small Businesses has bolstered revenues for 67% of participants within six months of program completion; that percentage grows to 76% 18 months after graduation. Comparatively, the National Small Business Association (NSBA) 2014 Year-End Economic Report indicated just 45% of business owners reported increased revenues over the prior 12 months.

    “These results confirm that small businesses continue to play a central role in spurring economic growth and job creation in their communities and nationwide and we are so pleased to see how this program has contributed to their success,” said Dina Habib Powell, president of the Goldman Sachs Foundation and head of the firm’s impact investing business.

    10,000 Small Businesses at LaGuardia alumni Rhys W. Powell is the president and founder of Red Rabbit, LLC, which delivers healthy, made from scratch meals to schools and camps around New York City. Since participating in the program revenue has gone up 800% and Red Rabbit has gone from providing meals at just 30 schools to providing over 20,000 meals per day at 150 school and camp locations.

    Mr. Powell credits 10,000 Small Businesses for teaching him how to implement a management structure built to support growth. “What I learned in the program gave me the skills to take Red Rabbit from a founder-run organization to a management-run organization,” he said.

    Jessica Johnson, president of Johnson Security Bureau, Inc. and graduate of the first 10,000 Small Businesses cohort at LaGuardia in 2010, can also attest to the growth observed in Babson’s study. The company, which provides professional transport, guard, patrol and protective services, has had a 600% increase in revenues.

    Babson’s study also found that 46% of 10,000 Small Businesses participants have reported creating new jobs within six months of graduation; that figure rises to 57% after 18 months. These increases in workforce dwarf the 22% of new job creation cited in the NSBA report.

    Stimulating Small Business Growth indicated businesses that created jobs within six months of completing the program was slightly higher in New York City at 47.3% 

    Johnson Security Bureau, Inc. is among those to boost the number of employees having increased their staff six fold in the five years since participating and Red Rabbit has had 1,000% growth in workforce.

    Both continue to stay connected with 10,000 Small Businesses through workshops and networking events, as well as through business opportunities. Red Rabbit has collaborated with several alumni including Frazier & Son and is board member of GreenHouse Eco-Cleaning.

    The report findings show that 84% of program alumni have done, or are doing, business with each other. 10,000 Small Businesses keeps graduates connected through alumni workshops and programs.

    Most program alumni are also reinvesting in their businesses as 86% are providing on the job training for new employees, which is up from 77% before participating in 10,000 Small Businesses. Additionally, more business owners report providing medical and dental benefits to their teams than before they completed the program.

    10,000 Small Businesses is unlike other business development programs, as it focuses on established small businesses, rather than start-ups; the typical participant has been in business for 11 years.

    For more information on Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses at LaGuardia Community College visit www.laguardia.edu/10ksb, call (718) 730-7400 or email 10KSB@lagcc.cuny.edu.


    •     •     •     • 


    About LaGuardia Community College
    LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit www.laguardia.edu to learn more.


     


    About Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses
    Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses is based on the broadly held view of leading experts that greater access to this combination of education, capital, and support services best addresses barriers to growth for small businesses. 10,000 Small Businesses is guided by an Advisory Council on which Babson President Kerry Healey serves, and is co-chaired by Goldman Sachs chairman and CEO Lloyd C. Blankfein, Bloomberg L.P. founder, president and CEO, and 108th Mayor of the City of New York Michael R. Bloomberg, Berkshire Hathaway chairman and CEO Warren Buffett, and the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City’s Dr. Michael Porter. The National Urban League and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce are also represented on the Advisory Council, among other groups.
    Babson College leads on curriculum design and development, faculty and business advisor training, alumni services and program measurement, and to date has trained more than 200 faculty and staff who deliver the program primarily at community colleges throughout the United States, and through a national blended-learning program. Participating businesses are at least two years old and employ a minimum of four employees.
    To apply for the 10,000 Small Businesses business and management education program, please visit www.10KSBapply.com.

     


    About Babson College
    Babson College is the educator, convener, and thought leader for Entrepreneurship of All Kinds®. The College is a dynamic living and learning laboratory, where students, faculty, and staff work together to address the real-world problems of business and society—while at the same time evolving our methods and advancing our programs. We shape the leaders our world needs most: those with strong functional knowledge and the skills and vision to navigate change, accommodate ambiguity, surmount complexity, and motivate teams in a common purpose to create economic and social value. As we have for nearly a half-century, Babson continues to advance Entrepreneurial Thought and Action® as the most positive force on the planet for generating sustainable economic and social value.


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     LaGuardia Community College, CUNY, and NYC Department of Education Host Parent Conference

    LaGuardia Community College/CUNY and NYC Department of Education Host Parent Conference

     

    Long Island City, NY—June 11, 2015—The Center for Immigrant Education and Training (CIET) at LaGuardia Community College, City University of New York (CUNY), and the New York City Department of Education hosted a parent conference on June 9 at LaGuardia for families of English Language Learners (ELLs).   


    “We are pleased to collaborate with the New York City Department of Education on such an important event,” said LaGuardia President Gail O. Mellow. “CIET’s ESOL & Family Literacy Program helps immigrant parents navigate the public school system so that they can become advocates for their children. In doing so, they become role models not only to their children, but to other parents as well.”


    The conference was one of three citywide events held this month for parents and guardians of ELLs and former ELLs. The conference offered families valuable information about how to support their children academically and summer learning available to them in New York City. Parents participated in workshops on Dual Language Programs, ELL Program Options, Rights and Responsibilities of ELL Families, Summer Program Opportunities, and College Planning. During the conference, parents were offered translation services.


    Deputy Chancellor of the Department of English Language Learners and Student Support (DELLSS) Milady Baez gave the keynote during the morning’s program. Ms. Baez underscored the importance of parent involvement and engagement as critical and core components of improving student achievement. ELLs account for over 14 percent of New York City schools’ total population, or approximately 140,000 students, and represent roughly160 languages.


    “We have empirical data that shows that children who receive instruction in their native language as well as English score highest on their exams,” said Ms. Baez. “We want to send the message to parents that their culture and language are highly appreciated. Every child should maintain their native language.” Ms. Baez is a native of the Dominican Republic and former ELL, who has been committed to providing equity and excellence for ELLs since the start of her career in 1975 as a bilingual teacher.


    Parents enrolled in LaGuardia’s ESOL & Family Literacy Program addressed the group as well to encourage families to become more active in their school communities and stressed the importance of learning English. “Ask your children every day how school was,” said ELL parent Felipe Sojo. “Help them with their homework, attend parent-teacher conferences, and contact the teacher if there is a problem and to discuss report cards.”  


    “Our children will be more motivated to learn with our help, and we learn by helping them,” added ELL parent Jesus Arias.


    Members of the Citywide Council for English Language Learners (CCELL) also spoke to the group in English, Spanish and Arabic. CCELL helps shape education policies and maintain strong relationships with families and the community. During their remarks, CCELL members encouraged parents to become involved in their children’s education, because their voices are integral to the education system.


    For more information on the services that DELLSS provides, please visit http://schools.nyc.gov/Academics/ELL/default.htm.


    •     •     •     •


    LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today.  LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students' lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit www.laguardia.edu to learn more.


    ###

     Cecilia Munoz Keynotes LaGuardia Community College’s 43rd Commencement on June 4

    Assistant to the President and Director of the Domestic Policy Council Cecilia Munoz Keynotes LaGuardia Community College’s 43rd Commencement on June 4

     

    Long Island City, NY—May 29, 2015—Cecilia Munoz, the Assistant to the President and Director of the Domestic Policy Council, which coordinates the domestic policy-making process in the White House, will be the keynote speaker at LaGuardia Community College’s 43rdAnnual Commencement Exercises on June 4.

     

    The featured speaker and other distinguished guests will address an expected 1,000-plus graduates who will be attending the exercises at The Theater at Madison Square Garden, 4 Pennsylvania Plaza (7th Avenue between W 31st St and W 33rd St). The event begins at 10:00 a.m.

     

    A press table will be located near the Madison Square Garden (MSG) Theater entrance by the South Concierge for reporters to sign in, get a ticket, a press packet and be escorted to a seat in the VIP section.

     

    To learn more about Ms. Munoz and the other speakers, contact Lara Moon at 718-482-5991 or via email at lmoon@lagcc.cuny.edu.

     

    For more information about LaGuardia’s 43rd Annual Commencement please visit: http://www.lagcc.cuny.edu/About/Commencement/home/

     

       

    •    •     •     •

     

    LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit www.laguardia.edu to learn more.

     

    ###

     

     LAGCC Shares Groundbreaking Adult Education Approaches through New Professional Development Institute

    LaGuardia Community College Shares Groundbreaking Adult Education Approaches through New Professional Development Institute


    Long Island City, NY—November 21, 2014—LaGuardia Community College has officially launched the College and Career Pathways Institute (CCPI) to provide professional development that helps educators prepare adults and out-of-school youth to get back on track to college and new careers through innovative contextualized and integrated instructional strategies.


    CCPI offers a campus-based demonstration site that pilots leading-edge curricula and program models and provides customized hands-on and web-based workshops, educational tools, faculty coaching and a well-tested curriculum design. CCPI trainers, all teachers with extensive and proven success in college preparatory classrooms, work with adult education programs, colleges, community based organizations, workforce training organizations, and college access and success organizations across the country. The Institute has already provided services in 11 states and has presented at many national conferences, including the Council on Adult Basic Education (COABE) Conference and the National College Transition Network Effective Transitions Conference in 2014.  


    “The pioneering work of the College and Career Pathways Institute is providing the highest quality training to a whole new generation of adult educators,” said Gail O. Mellow, President of LaGuardia. “With this training, thousands of educators will more effectively teach adult students, giving them the education and understanding about their chosen career that will allow them to build a better future for themselves and their families.”


    CCPI creates workshops and training materials using curriculum and program materials from LaGuardia’s Bridge to College and Careers Program and New York Basic Education and Skills Training (NYBEST) programs.  


    The Bridge to College and Careers Program prepares students to earn their High School Equivalency (HSE) diploma and successfully transition to college or career training. A recent random assignment evaluation of the Bridge Program found that students were twice as likely to complete the program, three times as likely to earn a HSE diploma, and twice as likely to transition to postsecondary education as their counterparts in a traditional HSE preparatory program ( http://www.mdrc.org/publication/enhancing-ged-instruction-prepare-students-college-and-careers). CCPI trainers have shared the Bridge Program model and methodology in recent workshops for educators at community colleges in New York, Illinois, Ohio and the New England region.  The Bridge Program has also recently been cited as a model transition program by Acting Assistant Secretary of the US Department of Education Johan Uvin.


    This winter, CCPI is partnering with the National College Transition Network to offer a public webinar series examining program and instructional shifts connected to new Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) legislation. To expand training and disseminate its models across the country, CCPI has also launched a new website ( http://www.laguardia.edu/CCPI). And a monthly newsletter featuring CCPI updates and best practices is available to the adult education and college access and success communities. 


    Olga Merchan, Director of Workforce Strategy at YouthBuild USA, commented, “If you want to build a successful bridge-to-college program, partner with LaGuardia Community College and learn from the best.”


    For more information on LaGuardia’s College and Career Pathways Institute contact ccpi@lagcc.cuny.edu or (718) 349-4015.


    •     •     •     •


    LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating under served students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit www.laguardia.edu to learn more.

     State Education Department Officials Discuss Bridge Program

    State Education Department Officials Discuss Bridge Program Over Lunch with LaGuardia Community College President, Administrators and Students

    Bridge

    Long Island City, NY—November 13, 2014—President Gail O. Mellow and LaGuardia Community College administrators last week hosted New York State Education Department, New York State Board of Regents, and local elected officials at a luncheon held in LaGuardia’s NYDesigns center.


    State Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch, Regent Betty Rosa, Dist. 37 Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan, State Education Commissioner John B. King and Deputy Commissioner Kevin Smith met with Dr. Mellow, Associate Dean of Pre-College Programs Jane MacKillop, Executive Director of Pre-College Academic Programs Amy Dalsimer, and Executive Director for Adult Community Learning John Hunt.


    During the working lunch administrators gave the Education Department officials an overview of several LaGuardia programs that help adults who did not finish high school earn high school equivalency (HSE) diplomas and continue on to college: the Bridge to College and Careers Program, the Center for Immigrant Education and Training (CIET), and NY Basic Education and Skills Training (NYBEST) Programs.


    The Bridge to College and Careers Program provides career focused high school equivalency preparation and college readiness. CIET provides contextualized English, immigrant family literacy, and parent and civic engagement programs. NYBEST combines basic skills and technical instruction/vocational training to prepare students for employment.


    “We really are a community college,” Mellow said. “We take everybody who has a high school equivalency diploma and everything in between or a degree from a New York City public school, or an adult who got a degree in Brazil. We take them and say welcome, if you are going to give us the time, we’re going to create a system that allows you to succeed.”


    After a welcome from Dr. Mellow, MacKillop, Dalsimer and Hunt gave overviews of each program. After a sometimes spirited discussion about how the programs are funded, the state officials visited curriculum developer and Pre-College Academic Instructor Viktoriia Dudar’s Bridge to Health classroom, where Rosa, Hunt, Smith and Nolan sat with the students and took part in the class discussion.


    Students Sandra Chevalier, Melissa Derrick, Johnny Webb, Troy Paul, Yaritza Cabrera, Claudia Gastelum, Sabrina Prime, and Ann Marie Hennessy, each of them graduates or current students in the Bridge Program, and high school principals Hope Baxter (Energy and Tech High School), Linda Siegmund (Middle College High School), and Jaclyn Valane (International High School) joined the state officials for lunch.


    The students praised Dudar for her patience and teaching ability and credited the Bridge Program with changing their lives.


    “I went from I’m going to get my GED (General Equivalency Diploma) to I’m going to go to college, I can succeed in college,” said Hennessy. “I tried other GED programs, and there was such a lack of communication. You’re so welcome here. It’s so organized.”

    •     •     •     •

    LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit www.laguardia.edu to learn more.




     The Korean Times Article on a Korean Food Vendor Support of LaGuardia

    “May It Give Hope To International Students...” Joo-Ho Kim, President Of Yogi and a Food Vendor, Supported LaGuardia Community College Scholarships 


    korean food truck article

    "I also had a difficult time during my overseas studies. Therefore, my operating principle is to provide large portions of delicious food at cheap prices to students, because I know that they don’t have a lot of extra money," said President Joo-Ho Kim.


    Of the four or five food carts located in front of the buildings at LaGuardia Community College (LaGCC) in Queens Long Island City, the line in front of one is exceptionally long. It is the Korean-food food cart “Yogi,” which is operated by President Joo-Ho Kim (43 years old), an ethnic Korean.


    Yogi’s main menu includes bulgogi, jeyukbokkeum and chicken teriyaki. Most of the students to patronize Yogi are LaGuardia students and foreign students. The students who have tried the food always give it a thumb up. President Kim’s food cart is unusually popular, not only because of the delicious taste of his food, but also thanks to his generous mindset which thinks of the students as his younger brothers and sisters.


    Last summer LaGuardia Community College had been challenged to raise $500,000 for student scholarships. President Kim is one of 282 donors who supported the College.


    President Kim, who graduated from college in Korea and then worked in the fashion business before going to study in Italy, laughed as he explained, “I was worried about meals during my difficult life as an international student and so I learned cooking from a neighbor Italian lady,” and “Rather than my following my fashion business studies, I became a gourmet chef instead.”


    President Kim came to New York in 1998 and studied Economics at Hunter College, but he slowly awakened to his hidden cooking skills that no one knew about and finally started this food cart business after graduating. President Kim said, “During my 20s and 30s, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do... But I slowly became aware of what true happiness is when I would see people eating the food which I made, even though it isn’t easy to go shopping for ingredients every day.”


    President Kim explained, “I wasn’t able to support with a lot of money but I hope that what I gave can be a small contribution to the students who are dreaming of the future even in their difficult circumstances.” He revealed that he intends to keep providing scholarship support in the future, too. “ (Journalist Ji-Hoon Cheon)


    View The Korean Times article: http://www.koreatimes.com/article/881299

     BET Reporter Samson Styles SharesSecond Chances With LaGuardia Community College Students

    BET Reporter Samson Styles Shares Second Chances With LaGuardia Community College Students


    Samson Styles BET 


    Long Island City, NY— October 21,2014Black Entertainment Television News Reporter and Documentarian Samson Styles brought his inspirational message to LaGuardia Community College, urging students try hard to make the right choices in life.


    “Most of my challenges came from making poor decisions,” Styles said. “Not a lot of people get second changes like I did. Where I come from, a lot of people are lucky to finish high school.”


    More than one hundred students gather in the E-Building atrium to hear Styles.  The LaGuardia Step Team opened the event with a rousing performance. Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Michael Baston and Director of Student Life Kevin Jordan welcomed Styles to campus.


    "Sampson Style's journey reminds all of us that where we start in life does not always dictate where we can go or who we can become,” Baston said. “We are pleased to welcome him to LaGuardia and we encourage all in our community to believe in, and however possible, support second chances. We never know when we ourselves may be the one in need of a second chance."


    “Stories are the windows into your life,” Jordan said. “This gentleman has come to tell his story, and when he tells his story you are invited to think about your own story.”


    Styles’ visit as arranged by Darren Ferguson, Project Coordinator of LaGuardia’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion. Styles is shooting a segment on Ferguson for his BET program, “Second Chances,” which profiles people who create successful careers after leaving prison.


    Styles’ talk was his story, which explained how he turned his life around after serving eight years in jail.


    Styles’ parents moved the family to the Louis H. Pink Houses in Brooklyn’s East New York neighborhood when he was eight years old, from Park Slope, Brooklyn.


    He started acting tough to fit in with his new crowd.


    “Some adversity you face is circumstantial, you have no control over,” Styles said. “But some adversity is made worse by poor choices.”


    Styles was nine years old when he started picking pockets with a group of neighborhood teens. “We used to call it getting money,” he said. “My mother would get calls from the local police precinct saying they picked up her son for this and that.”


    A good student, Styles said he “dumbed himself down” to fit in with his new friends. He kept running the streets. At 12 years old he did 18 months in juvenile detention. At 15 he was with a friend who killed someone and spent seven years in the penitentiary.


    “Again, I faced adversity because of my poor decision making,” Styles told LaGuardia students.


    Released in 2014, Styles returned to Brooklyn hoping to get into the recording industry but a friend persuaded him film was a better choice. Styles started shooting underground girl fights in Brownsville. A trailer he made from films of several fights was impressive enough to get him an interview with BET hierarchy, where he started filming segments for one of the network’s newsmagazines.


    Styles told the LaGuardia students that being on television did not insulate him from offers to resume the lifestyle that got him sent to prison.  “But I turned down those opportunities,” he said. “I wanted to do positive things in the community.


    “I’m letting you know that being here, in school, you are on the right path,” Styles said. “You might feel sometimes that you can’t make it, but ask yourself how many adversities you put on yourself.


    “To be here at LaGuardia and be able to inspire and motivate  students, that’s how I motivate myself,” Styles said.


    Last summer LaGuardia's Division of Adult and Continuing Education, working with the city Department of Corrections, completed the first phase of a pilot job training program for women in the Rose M. Singer Center on Riker’s Island.  


    "Having Samson Styles here at LaGuardia was a great opportunity to see what we can do with determination and a made up mind, even after being victimized by our own poor choices,” Ferguson said. “Mr. Styles showed our students, through his personal testimony, that success on a grand scale is possible even after what seems like a life altering error."

     

     •     •     •     •


    LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit www.laguardia.edu to learn more.

     LaGuardia Community College Food Cart Vendors Know Staff and the Students They Serve

    LaGuardia Community College Food Cart Vendors Know Staff and the Students They Serve

    halal   

    Long Island City, NY—September 30, 2014—LaGuardia Community College students, faculty and staff love eggs, aren’t as picky eaters as folks in other parts of the city, and love to snack between classes.

     

    This information comes from people who know the food cart vendors along Thomson Avenue, who feed hundreds of LaGuardia community members each school day.

     

    “My business philosophy is always to have a business around schools and students because they eat all the time,” said Elsayed, who has run the Mando Halal Food cart since 2000.

     

    “Students are easy to serve,” said John, who did not want his last name used. John runs the Coffee Bagel Cart near Van Dam Avenue and says he sells close to fifty egg sandwiches a day, making them one of his top selling dishes.

     

    “LaGuardia students are very patient, very, very patient,” said Juho Kim, who has been running the popular Yogi Food Cart by himself since his assistant had a hernia operation. “Kids always have a next class so they have to run. I feel so bad that they have to wait, but it’s only me. I do everything as fast as I can, but they keep waiting, waiting.”

     

    LaGuardia Community College, known as “The World’s Community College,” has one of the most diverse student bodies in New York City, with students from more than 157 countries, speaking over 111 languages.

     

    Yet, they have a lot in common. They share the dream of creating a better future for themselves and their families, and if you ask the vendors—they like to eat.

     

    Mohamad Mohamad’s Habbia Cart specializes in breakfast items “because there is a lot of competition for lunch,” Mohamad said.

     

    Carts offer speed, good food and low prices, Mohamad said, which makes them competitive. But having a business on wheels doesn’t diminish the need to service your customers if you expect them to come back, Mohamad said. 

     

    “We sell things cheap that can fill you up, something nice they can afford,” he said. “Go to a restaurant and they sell you a cup of coffee for $4 or $5 and you stay a half hour.”

     

    “Here the coffee is seventy five cents to one dollar and we talk and have fun,” Mohamad said. “If he has a problem with the cup we give him another one, no problem.”

     

    The men live in Queens and Brooklyn. They all tow their carts on the back of their cars or panel vans each workday from storage yards where they are kept overnight. Some of the yards restock the carts overnight, while some of the owners make their food at home and replenish the carts themselves each morning.

     

    Their stories of how they came to run their businesses are as colorful and intriguing as those of many of their LaGuardia customers.

     

    Elsayed graduated from law school in his native Alexandria, Egypt, but decided law was not for him. “I did it for my father,” he said. “He wanted me to be a lawyer. When I graduated I gave him the certificate.”

     

    Elsayed’s father was a spice merchant, and his son was able to put his knowledge of a variety of condiments to good use in his cart even though he didn’t cook when he moved here in 1986. He worked several jobs, including dishwasher at a Port Jefferson, NY restaurant.

     

    One night the restaurant’s chef stormed out after having words with the owner. Elsayed said he “knew everything about the kitchen” and stepped in to do prep work. He cooked there for ten years.

     

    His food vendor career got off to a rocky start. “The first day, nobody knew me so nobody came,” he said. “I made forty dollars and had to throw away almost eight hundred dollars worth of food because I could not keep it. It was rough. But over time it got better.”

     

    Kim owned a nail salon in Stony Brook when he saw a newspaper advertisement from a man, who happened to be Korean, who wanted to sell his food cart. “I had lived in France with a woman who taught me to cook some things, and I would cook for my wife and daughter,” he said.

     

    Kim sold the salon and bought the cart, one of the more popular food stands on the street with dishes like teriyaki chicken. With his assistant out, that success has meant more work for him. “It’s a lot of work; you have no idea,” he said. “If I knew that before, I might not have done it.”

     

    Mohamed majored in sports therapy in Egypt, but found the additional courses he’d have to take to be certified here too expensive when he immigrated here ten years ago.

     

    He said he worked a variety of jobs, including on a food truck near Columbia University Medical Center. Mohamed learned the business from scratch, and there was a lot to learn.

     

    “You have to learn how to use gas, how not to burn yourself, which food to cook first cause it takes longer,” he said.  “It is not easy stuff, because if the customer is not satisfied they are not going to come back.”

     

     Mohamed rents his cart, which specializes in lunch items like kebabs and sausages, from a man named John, who Mohamed said worked the cart for almost two decades but gave up after enduring the brutal cold last winter.

     

    Business is good, but tighter because competition from other carts “means you can’t raise your prices.”

     

    John, from the Philippines, has been in New York for fifteen years and has run his cart on the same corner outside LaGuardia for ten years. He taught himself to cook, he said, experimenting with recipes at home.  “Though the ten hour days are hard,” John said what he likes most about the work is that “my inventory is low and I don’t have to worry about overhead costs.”

     

    Last summer, when the LaGuardia Community College Foundation was challenged to raise $500K for the students’ scholarships, LaGuardia reached out to local businesses.  Each of the vendors in this story contributed to the LaGuardia Million Dollar Challenge. 

     

    “I was a student too, so I have feelings for them,” said Elsayed.Today he’s a student. Tomorrow we don’t know what he will be. You have to support him. Today you have to give back,” he said. “That is what we did.”

    yogi


    •     •     •     •


    LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit www.laguardia.edu to learn more.

     The David Grainger Foundation presents the LaGuardia Community College Foundation with $5000

    The David Grainger Foundation Presents the LaGuardia Community College Foundation with $5000


    Grainger pic

    Long Island City, NY—July 1, 2014—Grainger Industrial Supply officials present LaGuardia Community College President Gail O. Mellow with a $5,000 check from the David Grainger Foundation.


    Taking part in the ceremony, from left to right, are Grainger Account Manager Jim Dodson; Dr. Mellow; LaGuardia student and scholarship recipient Enes Malik Akdemir; Grainger Market Manager for Queens William Draghi; Grainger District Manager Tania Godoy; LaGuardia Community College Foundation Board Vice Chairman Suresh Sani; LaGuardia student and scholarship recipient Diriana Tejada; LaGuardia Vice President, Division for Institutional Advancement Susan Lyddon, and LaGuardia Vice President of Administration Shahir Erfan.


    •     •     •     •

    About the LaGuardia Community College Foundation

    The LaGuardia Community College Foundation ensures that ambitious students have the resources they need to receive a college education and improve their families’ lives. More than 70% of LaGuardia students come from homes where the annual family income is under $25,000. Since 2003, Foundation donors have contributed more than $8 million, which has provided scholarships, textbooks, transportation and tutoring for students in need. To learn more visit  www.laguardia.edu/Supporters-Friends/Home.

     

    About LaGuardia Community College

    A nationally recognized leader among community colleges, LaGuardia Community College was founded in 1971 as the ultimate experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today.  Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs.  Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average.  At LaGuardia, we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger.  Visit www.laguardia.edu to learn more.

     

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