• Meet the Mentors

    The Student Success Mentors (SSMs) facilitate the FYS Studio Hour. They are either current students at LaGuardia, or LaGuardia alumni who have transferred to four-year colleges. Learn more about them, their experiences and what motivated them to become mentors by clicking on each mentor’s biography below. You can also contact them via email.

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    Abdoulie Ceesay


    Abdoulie is from Dakar, Senegal, where he resided for nearly eight years before moving to The Gambia. He grew up in The Gambia, where he learned about faith, dedication, and compassion in a small community. These characteristics shaped his youth and have brought him to where he is now. He has always valued his educational experiences as a Computer Science major and first-generation college student, knowing that they will lead him to a brighter future. In the face of adversity, he recognizes the significance of resilience. Despite the challenges he has faced, Abdoulie encourages himself and his peers that a brighter future is possible if one is willing to fbe passionate and empathetic. As an SSM, he strives to help students enjoy their time without worrying in order to focus on learning to help secure their future and understanding school as a friendly place full of opportunities.
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    Adrian Gray


    Adrian Gray has been a LaGuardia student since the Fall 2019 semester. He is currently studying to earn an A.S. in Fine Arts Design Studies from LaGuardia Community College. Upon graduating, he hopes to continue his education at The Pratt Institute. Although it took a while for him to return to college, he supports the pursuit of higher education. It is this affinity for academia that has guided him to the SSM program, where he seeks to help first-year peers navigate college life.

    Alvaro Chavarriaga


    Alvaro Chavarriaga was born in Colombia and moved to New York in 2002. His major is Human Services-Mental Health. Alvaro describes himself as an enthusiastic and friendly person. He chose Human Services-Mental Health because he likes to help people and discovered that through this platform, he can do so much for others. He works part-time for a non-profit organization where he found his real vocation. He truly believes that by helping others we can cooperate to make a better world. In his part-time job, Alvaro helps families that are part of a Catholic Church community. Through them, he has learned to respect each culture, be patient and empathetic with each one, and above all, to give each person the importance they deserve. Alvaro says that through the Human Services career, he can change the lives of people in need; those who need someone to advocate for them.

    Anna Steto is half Greek and half Albanian and moved to New York City in 2015. She currently studies at LaGuardia Community College and is majoring in biology.

    After graduating from LaGuardia, she would like to go to Hunter College or Stony Brook University. Anna is a motivated person who likes learning about how the human body works and is passionate about working in a microbiology lab and doing research.

    She realized that she would like to go into the medical field when her grandmother died of unknown reasons. Anna, after finishing medical school, would like to be a doctor.

    She wants to improve the health system in her country and save as many lives as possible.

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    Binisha Chhetri


    Born and raised in Nepal, Binisha always wanted to explore outside Nepal. She decided to pursue her bachelor’s degree in the US where she could explore new cultures while earning a degree. She came to the US in 2018 and graduated with an associate’s degree in Civil Engineering from LaGuardia in Fall 2021. She is currently continuing her education at the City College Of New York to earn a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering.

    She says that choosing LaGuardia was one of the best decisions of her life since it not only helped her succeed academically but also explore outside the classes. While at LaGuardia, she received an opportunity to work as an intern for a 10k Small Business Program- organized by Goldman Sachs. Meanwhile, she was also a member of the President's Society of Environment.

    She was only able to succeed academically and get involved outside of classes because of the resources available at LaGuardia. It did however take some time for her to learn about those resources. She is immensely grateful and motivated to work as a SSM as she knows how overwhelming a new semester in a new college can be.

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    Biswas Tamang


    Biswas is an international student from Nepal and has been living and studying in New York since fall 2018. Though born in Nepal, he spent most of his life in the mesmerizing hill station of Darjeeling, India, where he did most of his schooling. Raised in the hills, Biswas is a natural adventurer and enjoys exploring places while going on hikes. Never a fan of a stagnant life, he wanted to complete his higher studies in a different place; this brought him to New York and he has been loving the diverse environment of the Big Apple ever since. He graduated from LaGuardia with an associate’s degree in Computer Science in Spring 2021. He is currently in his senior year at John Jay College of Criminal Justice studying Computer Science and Information Security.

    He believes that LaGuardia has provided him with the best student experience in his academic career. Being a freshman himself at one point, and also a former Peer advisor, he is aware of how astounding the first semester at college can be. A part of who he is today is because of LaGuardia and the invaluable experiences and opportunities he gained from there. Being an SSM, he wants to attempt giving back a small percent of all the experiences, opportunities, inclusiveness, and belongingness that he once got from LaGuardia.

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    Desiree Obando


    Desiree Obando is currently pursuing her associate’s degree In Human Services at LaGuardia. When the pandemic took shape, she saw it as a chance to seize an opportunity and become the best version of herself. She is actively and aggressively pursuing her degree with a 15-credit course load to complete her degree in Fall II 2021.

    Desiree is the mother of a young child and wants to set a good example for her and show her that through hard work and perseverance, anything is possible. This is what she hopes to bring to the SSM program, and to students. It doesn’t matter where or when you start, but the control over every milestone, every pause, and every finish line, begins and ends with you. She hopes the SSM program helps to strengthen her community ties to LaGuardia, sharpens her sense of service, and pay it forward while being a part of the legendary support LaGuardia is known for.
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    Devin McDonald


    Devin McDonald moved to New York City after studying abroad at Roehampton University in London, UK, where she discovered that the city life was exactly where she wanted to be. She graduated from Marymount Manhattan College with a bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts. After graduation, she worked as the Creative Services Specialist at the Center for Employment Opportunities, an organization dedicated to assisting formerly incarcerated individuals find employment.  She then worked in the marketing department for a Broadway theatre company. Due to the pandemic, she lost her job and subsequently began her journey at LaGuardia to change to a career in nursing. Looking ahead, Devin aims to combine the entirety of her educational and professional background to work in the communications side of healthcare.

    As an SSM, Devin hopes to learn as much from her diverse peers as they learn from her. Devin’s philosophy is centered around the concept of mutual aid; we all have something to give as well as to gain, many times as unexpected contributions.
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    Ioanna Odysseos


    Ioanna Odysseos was born and raised in Cyprus. She moved to New York City at the age of 18 as an international student at LaGuardia Community College. She is studying at LaGuardia Community College for 1 and a half years and she is planning to graduate with an Associate degree in Psychology in Spring 2021. Since Fall 2020 she was elected as the treasurer of the philosophy club at LaGuardia Community College and she is also a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society.

    After achieving her associate degree, Ioanna is planning to transfer to a four-year college within CUNY in order to achieve her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. After that, she is planning to continue her studies and achieve her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology. Her future plans after her studies are to travel back to her home country and open her own office accepting her own patients.

    John Wesley Griffin Jr. was born, buttered, and bred in the Mississippi Delta. He moved to New York at age 5 with his brothers and sister. Growing up, John loved art and video games. As a kid, he chose a dark path and suffered violent consequences for it; never finishing high school. Because of this, he faced hardships, went to court and lost his freedom. Later on, he improved his life and decided to go to LaGuardia to study Human Services/Mental Health, where he is currently pursuing his degree. He wants to give back to the community through this field. His passion is Human Service. John’s motivation as an SSM is to show students by example that past mistakes can turn into positive career choices. As an SSM, he hopes that his students learn from his life experiences and make good decisions.
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    Kaylin (Kay) Rivera


    Kay Rivera is Puerto Rican American, non-binary and was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. They love to read and would finish 700-page books in a day. Their love for the fantasy world pushed them to start writing at 12 years old. Shortly after high school, Kay decided to go to LaGuardia to be able to explore their options. They had multiple passions, from drawing to playing guitar and even wanted to go into psychology. Liberal Arts: Social Sciences and Humanities was the perfect major.

    Due to personal reasons, Kay withdrew from classes, and feared their gap year would be permanent. However, that wasn’t the case, and now they’re soon to become a LaGuardia Alum. With their experience with LaGuardia, they made a vow to guide and help others have a great experience like they did. As an SSM, they seek to help those with resources they didn’t know about during their time at LaGuardia.

    Kristina Graham


    Kristina Graham was born and raised in North Carolina and has now lived in Queens, NY, for over 10 years. She is currently studying Film and Television at LaGuardia Community College. Kristina hopes to continue gaining knowledge and experience in media-related fields.

    One of Kristina’s passions is storytelling;especially storytelling through the visual arts of photography and videography. She applies storytelling to share her interpretations of the world in general and complexities of human emotions in particular. Kristina’s aspirations range across several disciplines, such as media, counseling, and teaching.

    However, no matter what professional directions she pursues, Kristina’s hope as an SSM is to inspire students to be both passionate about discovering one’s own talents and also compassionate about difficult journeys of self-discovery that others take.

    Luis De la Cruz  was born in Venezuela but he was raised in Peru. He studied accounting for about 4 years in Lima, Peru but he wasn't able to complete his major for personal reasons. At the age of 22, he moved to New York City with many aspirations and he decided to study a new major which has become his passion: Civil Engineering.

    He graduated from LaGuardia Community College where he obtained his associate's degree in the Fall 2019. Now, he will start attending City College to pursue his bachelor degree. His dream job is to work for the Department of Transportation.

    As a SSM, his enthusiasm and optimism will be valuable to help, support, and guide new students. Also, he enjoys participating in different programs in and out of LaGuardia to keep learning and meeting new people. Now, he intends to share these experiences and opportunities to make  students succeed in both their professional and personal lives.

    Luz Bueno


    Luz Bueno graduated from the Adult and Continuing Education High School Equivalency Program in Spring 2016. In Fall of 2016, she majored in Travel, Tourism and Hospitality Management. Because Luz was born in South America (Colombia), Spanish was her first language.

    The first obstacle she had to overcome was the language barrier, as well as mastering new computer skills. The first few years of her college career, Luz took all the ESL remedial courses she needed in order to move on to college-level writing. In Summer of 2017, Luz became a recipient of the Peter Jennings Fall scholarship.

    She was highly recommended from HSE Adult Continuing and education Program for her academic efforts and great GPA. In Spring 2018, she became a Student Fellow in the Adult and Continuing Education Program, where she helped educate students about Federal, State and community resources/opportunities at LaGuardia Community College.

    Through the Adult Continuing and Education Program Peer Mentor, Luz gained the necessary experience and skills to support other students. In Summer of 2019, she changed her major to Fine Arts because she wants to follow her passion for Fine Arts and receive an A.S. degree in Fine Arts. As a Student Success Mentor, Luz takes the opportunity to grow as a person, student and professional.

    Also to continue supporting students to connect with college resources and be successful in college. She does this with the hope that the students she mentors may also become peer role models to other students like them.

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    Milagros Bellido Guillen


    Milagros was born and raised in Peru. She studied for five years and earned a bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education. She worked for over five years as a lead teacher. One day, she realized she loved to work with children, but she wanted to do something else, she wanted to learn more; so, she moved to NY.

    Currently, she studies at LaGuardia and her major is Deaf Studies. She decided on this major because when she was a teacher in Peru, she had a hard-of-hearing student, and this was always interesting for her because it allowed her to see how important accessibility in a hearing world is. Also, Milagros was very excited to learn about the Deaf community.

    As an SSM, Milagros wants to share her experiences and guide new students to success in the hope that they learn during this process.
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    MD Mushfiq Ur Rahman


    MD Mushfiq Ur Rahman was born and raised in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and moved to the United States at the age of 20. He is currently studying accounting at LaGuardia Community College. Mushfiq hopes that by learning accounting, he will learn many other technical skills such as being able to calculate quickly, as well as soft skills.

    He plans to graduate in Spring 2022 with an associate degree and transfer to a four-year program to complete his bachelor’s degree. He wants to be a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

    As an SSM, Mushfiq desires to help new students by sharing his own knowledge and experience. Also, he wants to inspire and assist new students in achieving their goals, graduating on time, and transferring to a four-year college.
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    Min Young Kim


    Min Young often refers to herself as a lifelong student because she has learned from various experiences in her life. One of the experiences that made a huge impact in her life is that she’s lived in different cities. She lived half of her life in Seoul, Korea, Tokyo, a small town near Dallas, TX, and currently she is living in NYC to studyi. These worldly experiences allowed her to meet so many people from different backgrounds that are so different from one another. This made her open-minded, adaptive to any hard situation, and able to learn fast to make herself comfortable in a new environment. With these rich experiences, her life goal is to support other people to thrive in their lives and make them happy.

    She has always liked problem-solving, understanding the logic for her to freely play with it. So, she has always preferred math and science classes to memorizing subjects such as history, or geography. So, after changing her major a few times, she decided on Programming and Systems at LAGCC. She also studied Video Art atBMCC (Borough of Manhattan Community College) as well as Game Design at an out-of-state college. Because of this, she is passionate about graphic design as well. Her academic goal is to be a professional in both design and programming.
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    Nancy Meza-Torres


    Nancy was born and raised in Queens, New York but her nationality is Mexican-American. Nancy is an alum of LaGuardia Community College. She graduated from LaGuardia Community College in June 2020. Currently, she is studying Education at Queens College.

    As a first-generation college student, Nancy knows the importance of having a proper education. Therefore, Nancy wishes to become an elementary school teacher in the future. Being an SSM has given Nancy the teaching experience she needs to become a great and efficient leader to guide and educate future students.

    Nancy’s goal is to guide future students in the right direction and to graduate from LaGuardia Community College just like herself. As she knows how difficult college can be; especially for first-generation students like herself. Nancy hopes to guide as many students as she can toward graduating from LaGuardia Community College and transferring into a 4-year college.

    Rahina Yeasmeen


    Rahina Yeasmeen was born and raised in Bangladesh. She came to New York in October of 2010 with a high expectation of studying in a place where she could explore her intelligence. Being admitted at LaGuardia Community College helped her not only to pursue her ambition, but to survive and flourish.

    She graduated from LaGuardia on January 2015 with an Associate’s Degree in Accounting. She is currently studying at Baruch College to earn her Bachelor’s Degree in Accountancy. She is greatly motivated to inform students about different resources and options that can help them to be more knowledgeable and skillful.

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    Rubina Rahman


    Rubina Rahman was born and raised in Dhaka, Bangladesh. She came to the USA in 2015. She initially started her college back in 2013. However, she could not continue for some circumstances. She wants to finish her college and educate herself in order to be a role model for her daughter.

    Rubina has started her college here in LaGuardia in Fall 2018 and hopes to finish her AS in spring 2021. She is a member of the ECLC Board of Directors and Phi Theta Kappa honors society. She wants to become a CPA and wants to open her own business one day.

    When she worked as an Office Assistant in the CUNY/Math Start Program, she got to know more about students and was able to help them. As she started her new journey as an SSM and she is hoping to help students with her knowledge of what she earned as a student.


    Chloe Frederick


    Chloe was born and raised in Saint Lucia. She spent much of her childhood exploring the mesmerizing scenery of the Caribbean. In 2016, she migrated to the United States to afford herself better opportunities. She is currently pursuing her education in the field of psychology at LaGuardia with intentions of transferring to Hunter College to complete her Master’s Degree.

    Chloe is the first generation in her immediate family to attend college. Chloe’s passion for mental health stems from her cultural background where it is stigmatized. Her career goal is to be a licensed clinical therapist in which she is eager to work with immigrants and others of backgrounds like her own.

    As an SSM, Chloe aims to establish trusting relationships with her mentees and shadow them through their first year at LaGuardia. In her first year, she was fearful of the uncertainty and the new college environment. Chloe left her FYS feeling confident. She hopes to instill such confidence in other students.

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    Yanery Peralta


    Yanery Peralta was born and raised in the Dominican Republic. Moved to New York in 2017. She is majoring in Education Bilingual Child at LaGCC. Following her upcoming graduation in Fall 2021, she will continue her education at a four-year college where she will study to become not only a professor, but a Spanish/English interpreter.

    Her passion is service; helping others from the heart and through education. Yanery discovered her passion while attending high school that focuses on serving those most in need. High school was a significant stage in her life where she learned how comforting it is for the soul to be able to positively impact the lives of others. That is why Yanery chose this beautiful and amazing path of education.

    As an SSM, one of Yanery's main objectives is to support and guide her mentees to be successful in their academic processes and in their professional careers.
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    Allana Sinelov


    Allana was born and raised in Brazil. Her family migrated to South America during the war. She is half Portuguese and half Polish. After moving to the United States in 2017, Allana had the opportunity to improve her English, learn new skills, and meet new people. Currently, she is a biology major at LaGuardia Community College.

    As soon as Allana graduates from LaGuardia, she plans to transfer to a four-year college to complete her bachelor's degree. After receiving her bachelor's degree, Allana intends to attend medical school to become an OBGYN. She has always been interested in health care, especially women's and children's health.
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    Arianna Pena


    Born and raised in NYC, Arianna Pena spent most of her life wandering the streets of Queens and Manhattan.

    Growing up, she didn’t have a positive role model to look to for guidance and navigated much of her life on her own. Her current morals and values did not come from the lessons of wise adults but from years of bad decisions and learning from the consequences.

    Arianna decided to improve her life by focusing on what she could control, the first being her college education. She dedicated herself to her studies to see just how much success and achievement she was capable of, and finished her first semester at LAGCC with straight A’s.

    Arianna aspires to become the positive, successful mentor she wishes she had growing up. As an SSM, she is determined to motivate and push students towards the achievements they are more than capable of attaining.
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    Benjamin Taveras Gonzalez


    Benjamin came from the Dominican Republic to major in Fine Arts, though at the beginning he started as a science major student. The college courses that he took so far have made him realize what he truly wanted, which is to illustrate and design. Intrigued by the broad fields of knowledge that life and art hold, he’s always wanted to be a part of the art community for the sake of liberation and inclusion of everyone through art.

    Assisting others in learning how to find what they truly desire academically during their path at college is one of his goals as an SSM.
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    Chandler Baez


    Chandler is a Veterinary Technology student at LaGuardia, coming all the way from the northern Hudson Valley. A 6-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force, Chandler transferred out of a career in military intelligence to pursue his passion for helping animals in 2021, and is entering his final year of study as of Fall 2022. Afterwards, he intends to move to Canada to pursue his veterinary doctorate, and settle down with his family.

    Chandler aims to bring his lifelong desire to help others, and his capacity for empathy to his work as a SSM–aiding other students in finding their academic success and helping guide peers through the first-year-student process. He hopes that he can help to instill in his FYS students a desire to help their peers, as well as the tools they need to forge their way down their education path.
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    Christopher Picon


    Born in Queens to a Polish mother and Peruvian father, Christopher Picón grew up with a passion for learning. Christopher took a break from education after dealing with mental health issues in high school and college. However, after enrolling at LaGuardia, he rediscovered his passion for learning and history. Christopher has learned much from his experiences and failures, including the value of patience and hope. Christopher hopes to use these experiences to help students face the challenges of college life. He also hopes to use his experience as an SSM to gain more experience as a mentor and lab facilitator, since it’s his ambition to teach history in the future.
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    Giselle Galindo


    Giselle Galindo was born and raised in Queens, New York by an immigrant Mexican family. At an early age, she developed an interest in films and film making. She loved to watch the behind-the-scenes productions during movies and write stories of her own. Her passions are to direct/write her own films and be able to teach film to future students. Giselle earned her associate's degree in film and television at LaGuardia and is currently transferring to Hunter College to earn a bachelor’s degree in film.

    During her time at LaGuardia, Giselle grew an interest in wanting to help others and teaching. She hopes that by becoming an SSM she can help students who are nervous and anxious during their first year at LaGuardia by opening up new doors for the students, and to help them take advantage of the resources at LaGuardia.
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    Guilardo Araujo


    Guilardo Araújo was born in Brazil but moved to New York in 2017. He has experience in banking, marketing and customer service. He studied business for three years but couldn’t complete his studies due to work trips. He started studying Psychology at LaGuardia Community College in spring 2021.

    He is a positive person and intends to be a psychologist to help people who suffer from domestic violence and abusive relationships. He also wants to be a professor and a motivational speaker. He is graduating next semester, Fall 2022 and going to Hunter College to get his BA in Psychology.

    As an SSM, he is excited to interact with other students, and to help them with the support he can provide as an SSM, and of course, share support offered by LaGuardia. Guilardo intends to use his experiences to help students realize that knowledge is a powerful thing that can change their lives.
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    Jean Gabriel Decimus


    Jean Gabriel Decimus was born and raised in Haiti and moved to the United States in 2017. He is currently in his last semester at LaGuardia Community College majoring in civil engineering. He is working on transferring to the City College of New York where he will pursue a bachelor and a master in civil engineering.

    Science and Art have always been his passion. That is why, beside working on fulfilling his dream of becoming an engineer, Jean is also a musician, playing piano for multiple Churches and choirs.

    Jean’s goal as an SSM is to provide the new students with the necessary support, tools and examples that they need to better navigate their college lives. He believes that his experiences as a student can inspire others and help them remain engaged.
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    Johanna Ramirez


    Johanna Ramirez Fernandez was born and raised in the Dominican Republic. She studied in her country when she was young, but at 18 she went to New York and earned a GED to enroll in college.

    She graduated from LaGuardia Community College and obtained her associate’s degree in spring 2022. Now, she will start attending Queens College to pursue her bachelor’s and master's. Her dream job is to work as a teacher in an Elementary school. As an SSM, her dedication and proactiveness will help her to guide, assist and mentor new LaGuardia students in their academic journeys. She likes to learn new things and acquire new experiences. Now, she plans to encourage and engage new students with her skills and her knowledge while learning from her mentees, so both can achieve their academic and professional goals.
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    Julian Poli


    Julian Poli was born and raised in Forest Hills, New York. He is currently pursuing an associate’s degree in civil engineering at LaGuardia Community College. Julian hopes to complete his bachelor’s degree at City College or Columbia University.

    Julian always had an interest in math and science, participating in various youth programs such as the Software Engineering Program (SEP), Maker Faire, and Mouse Squad. However, after graduating high school, Julian was uncertain if college was the right choice for him. After taking a gap year to save money, Julian decided to enroll at LaGuardia Community College, promising himself that he would put 110% of his effort into succeeding. He soon came to realize that college was the right thing for him because of the environment and friends he has met along the way.

    Julian hopes to one day work for the Department of Transportation in hopes to create high-speed rail networks in the United States.
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    Nadia Sulaiman


    Nadia Sulaiman was born in Bangladesh and is studying Business Administration at Laguardia Community College. She moved to the U.S in 2022 to continue doing her classes. In addition, she is involved in various campus recreational and academic enrichment activities: PTK, ASAP, Student Success mentor, Presidents Society, and a few clubs. She is also a part-time digital artist who aspires to keep doing art as a hobby.

    She aspires to be an SSM because she wants to inspire students to pursue their dreams and encourage them to break boundaries and stereotypes. She hopes upcoming students learn about the core SSM values, digital literacy, and all the resources and opportunities LaGuardia Community College offers.
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    Nahenka Remy


    Nahenka Remy was born in Haiti. She earned her Associate degree in Therapeutic Recreation at Laguardia Community College in December 2022. She is now attending Lehman College, majoring in Psychology. Nahenka is passionate about children, and also cares for the well-being of others. She would like to pursue her education after graduating from Lehman College to become a school psychologist or a clinical psychologist.

    Her desire to provide help and support to students in need, and on top of that, to enhance their college experiences by sharing her own experiences with them, is what motivated her to become an SSM. She wants students to learn from her experiences, so that they can achieve their dream no matter how difficult things might be.
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    Naima Diana Ishrat


    Naima Ishrat Diana came from Bangladesh in September 2019.After she moved into NYC, she completed her TASC diploma .She started her journey in Laguardia as a first generation student in March 2021.She will graduate in Fall II 2022.She wants to be Pharmacist in future .Her initial goal is to complete her bachelor’s degree and get into a good Pharmacy school.

    As she lives in the U.S without her parents and without any support ,she is a full time worker and a full time student During her first year seminar course, she learned that she was also interested in helping other students .Then she got the excellent opportunity to become a Student Success Mentor. As a SSM she wants to create a safe, productive, informative, helpful and interesting environment for students.
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    Raisa Zannat


    Born and brought up in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Raisa Zannat studied in an International Curriculum based high school.

    Later, she joined LaGuardia in Fall 2021 as an English Major. She is an ASAP student and an ambassador of LaGuardia’s President’s Society. She is participating in a fellowship program as a social media writer and is also working as front of house staff at LaGuardia’s Performing Arts Center.

    She is passionate about writing and wants to pursue a career that involves digital media and communication. She also sees herself working as an educator in her community.

    As an SSM, the ability to give back to new students motivates her. She believes it's her turn to help others. She expects her students to learn the value of inclusivity, empathy, and adaptability from her. According to her, planning out one’s whole day is the best way to flourish while learning in-person.
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    Shepard Schiff


    Shepard has lived in New York City for over twenty years and has worked multiple jobs for over ten. They have been a Photographer, Computer Technician, Salesman, Personal Assistant, Delivery Driver, House Cleaner, Volunteer Interpreter, Document Digitizer, Office Manager, and I.T. Administrator just to name a few.

    They have tried and failed to learn multiple languages multiple times. They are now conversational in American SIgn Language and will soon start learning Japanese at Queens college starting this fall semester, hopefully it sticks this time.

    Their likes include Anime, Card Games, and Stand-up Comedy. Their dislikes include Social Media and Flash Photography.

    When pressed for a personal philosophy they would turn to the following: "One who knows others is wise. One who knows oneself is enlightened."
    - Lao Tzu
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    Suhana Lama


    Suhana was born from intercaste parents and raised in the open border between Nepal and India. When she chose to live independently and moved to the US amidst covid, she had this forced growth where she had to learn basic survival tactics, especially here in NYC. She was one of those students who found it very hard to raise questions or speak publicly, so by being an SSM she wants to be the bridge between professors and students like her past self. She wants to create a safe space for FYS students where they can come and talk to her without any hesitation and free of judgements.

    Her whole life has been a series of transitioning and adapting to new cultures and environments.

    With her strong work ethic, communication and time management skills, she is moving forward on this journey of pursuing a degree and also in life. This is why she chose LaGuardia: because it is a diverse pool of many cultures while she can also have flexible class schedule, giving her the perfect opportunity to learn and grow in life.
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    Tsering Chokyi


    Tsering Chokyi was born in Nepal to Tibetan refugee parents. She studied for a Bachelor of Arts, Mass Communication Diploma and worked for 9 years in India. In 2016, she moved to New York, USA after getting married to a childhood school friend.

    She got accepted to the nursing program in Fall of 2021. Currently, she is in her third semester of the Nursing (RN) program at LaGuardia. She aspires to be an efficient nurse. Her dream is to help people with kindness and compassion.

    As SSM, she is optimistic, savvy and helpful. Also, she enjoys LaGuardia aquatics for swimming, going on hikes, and listening to music. She wants to assist students to guide them appropriately to achieve their dreams. Maintaining the balance in life between personal, professional, education and entertainment is the key.

    Yuxin Xiao was born and raised in China. He came to New York with his family and started his new educational path in New York. He first went to LaGuardia Community College as a business administration major. In 2021, he transferred to Baruch College to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Marketing.

    In his spare time, Yuxin loves to play all kinds of sports like billiards, badminton, and fishing. Without question, he is an energetic person who enjoys competing in sports.

    As an immigrant, Yuxin knows how difficult life is when people don’t know the language. So, as part of his role as an SSM, he wants to share his experiences with those students who just came to the United States, so that they can quickly adapt to the new environment in college.