LaGuardia Community College Thanks Partners and Elected Officials for Supporting Student Success

Event Marked Launch of LaGuardia and Wagner Archives’ 2024 Calendar, “Pleasure and Protest: Public Spaces in New York City”

LONG ISLAND CITY, NY (December 18, 2023) — LaGuardia Community College/CUNY thanked local community-based organizations, employer-partners, and elected officials for their ongoing collaboration in supporting student success, at a community reception on Friday, December 15.

Those in attendance included representatives from Riis Settlement, Elmcor Youth and Adult Activities, the Newtown Creek Alliance, the Institute for Community Living, and Urban Upbound. Elected officials at the event included New York State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. (District 15) and Assemblyman David I. Weprin (District 24). Queens Deputy Borough President Ebony Young and Dan Wiley from the Office of Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez were also in attendance.

Kenneth Adams, president of LaGuardia Community College, spoke about LaGuardia’s founding in 1971 as a co-op college where every student had an internship and how the college continues to follow this practice to give students valuable professional experience. “Without community-based organizations, government agencies, and employers both large and small, from Queens and beyond, we would be unable to offer a paid internship or work-based learning experience to every LaGuardia student who wants one.”

“As many of us say around here, you can’t dream what you can’t see. The way for students to really think about their careers and link their classroom learning to jobs and careers and being successful professionally is to visualize success, which they can’t do if they’re never in the workplace where they might ultimately end up,” added President Adams.

Senator Addabbo was among the elected officials who spoke about why LaGuardia is a worthwhile investment.

“President Adams, what you, your faculty, and your staff, have done here for our students is quite amazing. And how do we say thank you as elected officials? Well to say it is one thing, but to act together as a partner doing what we can legislatively or in the budget is another way of saying thank you,” said Senator Addabbo. “When we work together, we pave the road for students like Julian Poli. Nobody likes to travel on a bumpy road. It’s our job to make that road as smooth as possible for our students. We invest in LaGuardia because of the many positive things going on here.”

LaGuardia’s Continuing Education Division, which helps students learn English, earn a high school equivalency diploma, or get job training, offers opportunities for students through partnerships with community organizations and businesses across Queens. Sunil B. Gupta, vice president for Continuing Education, said the partnerships have been meaningful for students and the college.

“LaGuardia is going very far, thanks to our partners,” said Vice President Gupta. “And we’re looking towards adding partnerships in the new year. We have more programs, more students. The opportunities our community partners have supplied are opening doors for our students. They cannot make it without real-world experience, which happens from hands-on internships, not in a traditional classroom.”

Civil Engineering major Julian Poli, who holds a 4.0 GPA, spoke about how LaGuardia partner Rise Light & Power not only opened the door to opportunities for him to learn about how engineering is involved in the city’s infrastructure but granted him a scholarship at a critical time.

“The scholarship from Rise Light & Power was the make-or-break moment for me. I was thinking about taking a huge break from college since I pay for my tuition out of pocket and do not qualify for financial aid. Because of their scholarship support, I’m on my way to completing my LaGuardia degree. Rise Light has also given me opportunities to network and learn about New York City’s energy landscape. As a result, I’ve grown exponentially—my public speaking skills have improved and I’m better at learning,” said Julian. “I wouldn’t be here without the support, internships, and networking opportunities from our community partners, elected officials, and people working with the LaGuardia Foundation. Thank you!”

The Rise Light Scholarship was established in March 2023 with a $25,000 grant from Rise Light & Power to the LaGuardia Community College Foundation to support STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) majors. Click here to read more about the Foundation’s efforts to double aid available to LaGuardia students.

Rise Light & Power is part of Attentive One Energy, a group leading a big switch to clean energy, in which LaGuardia is closely involved as future site of the Queens Offshore Wind Training Hub. LaGuardia will receive a $10 million grant from Attentive One to develop and launch the hub.

Julian is a member of LaGuardia’s Model UN and a Student Success Mentor (SSM). He’s looking forward to graduating from LaGuardia in June 2024, after which he plans to transfer to City College to pursue his bachelor’s in engineering.

Launch of LaGuardia and Wagner Archives’ 2024 Calendar, “Pleasure and Protest: Public Spaces in New York City”

Boxes of whole wheat sugar cookies baked and decorated by LaGuardia Nutrition & Culinary students and copies of the LaGuardia and Wagner Archives’ 2024 calendar were offered to guests who attended.

Molly Rosner, Ph.D., director of education programs for the LaGuardia and Wagner Archives, spoke about the significance of the Archives’ annual calendar and invited attendees to tour the Archives.

“The LaGuardia and Wagner Archives is focused on preserving and giving students access to our collections about New York City’s social and political history,” Dr. Rosner said. “For the last 45 years, we have worked with the faculty at LaGuardia to create and publish an annual calendar. These calendars are packed with historical information, important dates, and beautiful and engaging images that can hang on your wall. We distribute it to people and organizations throughout the city every year, for free.”

Each calendar focuses on a theme that draws from the Archives’ collections and reflects a key issue or facet of life in New York City.

“Our 2024 calendar, ‘Pleasure and Protest: Public Spaces in New York City,’ highlights the ways New Yorkers use, transform and advocate for public space. Each month features a different type of place to highlight the creative ways that we come together outside to forge political and social bonds,” said Dr. Rosner. “The way it fosters public life and community is one of the many things that make New York City special. People gather, protest, grieve, celebrate, and relax in New York’s public parks, plazas, streets, waterfronts, and sidewalks. Together, New Yorkers voice their beliefs, share with their neighbors, make a living, and meet new friends outside of the confines of their homes.”

“New York is the only county in the country that relies primarily on public transportation, and sharing space is the backbone of this city. As cuts are being made to park budgets and to other public services, it’s increasingly important to keep in mind all that they do to make life in the city pleasant, safe, and healthy,” added Dr. Rosner.

The 2024 “Pleasure and Protest: Public Spaces in New York City” calendar may be viewed or downloaded for free on the LaGuardia and Wagner Archives website. Printed copies in English or Spanish may be requested by calling the Archives at (718) 482-5065 or submitting a request online.

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LaGuardia Community College (LAGCC), a Hispanic-Serving Institution, located in Long Island City, Queens offers more than 50 degrees and certificates, and more than 65 continuing education programs to educate New Yorkers seeking new skills and careers. As an institution of the City University of New York (CUNY), the College reflects the legacy of our namesake, Fiorello H. LaGuardia, the former NYC mayor beloved for his advocacy of underserved populations. Since 1971, LaGuardia’s academic programs and support services have advanced the socioeconomic mobility of students while providing them with access to a high quality, affordable college education.


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