• Ali was born and raised in Karachi, Pakistan where he completed his General Certificate of Education- Ordinary Level awarded by the Cambridge International Examinations in Pure Sciences. He then came to the United States to pursue higher education.

    Ali enrolled at LaGuardia Community College in Spring 2015 where he earned his A.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering and graduated in Fall 2017. He then transferred to City College of New York to pursue his B.E. in Mechanical Engineering at the Grove School of Engineering.

    Ali’s relationships with his professors at LaGuardia helped him decide to pursue his ultimate goal, which is to earn his PhD and work as a professor.

    His ambition to help others is what initially drove him to become an SSM. Being an SSM, he expects his students to understand that education is essential, but so is college life, and connecting with one’s college community. Thus, he wants them to learn to enjoy their time as college students and get involved on campus.


    Amanda Seidner


    Amanda is a Manhattan born, New York native who entered the workforce immediately upon graduating high school. She made her return to higher education in Fall 2018 here at LaGuardia C.C.

    Amanda’s wide range of academic interests are what led her to choose the flexibility of a Liberal Arts: Math & Science degree. Amanda credits her choice of major as a main factor of her academic success.

    Being able to take classes she was genuinely interested in along with the required core sparked a sense of inner awakening. She has found a new sense of purpose and direction during her time at LaGuardia.

    She hopes she can share her experiences with her students to help them reach their own personal “ah ha” moments as well as enhance students’ self-confidence.

    She aims to provide her students with all necessary resources to succeed. Upon graduation, Amanda plans to transfer to a four-year college to pursue a Bachelor’s of Science.


    Angie Alonzo


    Angie moved to New York three years ago from Ecuador, and recently graduated from LaGuardia in Spring 2019 with an Associate’s degree in Fine Arts.

    She plans on getting a Bachelor's degree in studio art at Queens College. She has always been very passionate about arts which was her incentive to move here, being born and raised for 18 years in Ecuador she had a different perspective on how things worked in the world; after living here she has changed and become an independent woman who believes her experiences can help guide and comfort other students that are in the same situation as she was.

    After her FYS and her Art and Design seminar course, she realized that being an SSM was the position that she needed to guide students.

    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.


    Ashikur Rahman


    Ashikur Rahman is a Bangladeshi-American. He has been in America since 2016.  Because, he completed his High School education in a foreign country. It wasn’t easy for him to start his American college journey without having knowledge of English.

    After a lot of hardship, he is successfully completing his college studies. Ashikur is working towards his Associate’s Degree in Civil Engineering from LaGuardia Community College.

    He is inspired by the MTA (Metropolitan Transport Authority) and NYC DOT (Department of Transportation) to study hard in Civil Engineering. He was on the Dean’s List for Fall 2018.

    His passion for helping and motivating others led him to work as a Student Success Mentor at LaGuardia Community College.


    Ashrafur Rahman


    At the age of 21, when Ashrafur came to the United States in 2014 without having any English knowledge, it was not easy to start his college journey immediately. However, after a lot of struggle and hard work, he has overcome his struggles with determination.

    He then successfully graduated from LaGuardia Community College in the Spring of 2018 with an AS degree in Accounting. During his student life at LaGuardia, he was on the Dean’s List for Fall 2016, 2017 and Spring 2017, 2018.

    Additionally, before he graduated from LaGuardia, he did his internship at ConEdison, one of the largest companies in the world, where he learned great assets for the business world and great skills.

    Currently, he is pursuing his Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Information System at Baruch College. Ashrafur is very excited to be an SSM because he believes that this position gives him an opportunity to give back to the LaGuardian freshman students and immigrant students by navigating their journey at LaGuardia.

    Asma Shuaib is a Palestinian-American. She graduated from LaGuardia Community College in the Spring of 2017 with an A.A Degree in Early Childhood Education and is pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in The School of Education at Hunter College. Asma’s passion for teaching and working with young children has mainly come from her experience living in Palestine. Growing up in an occupied country, Asma realized the power of education. She believes that education is the only way to enhance not only the lives of young children living in Palestine, but children all over the world. Her biggest goal is to teach worldwide and improve education in developing countries.

    LaGuardia Community College has opened many doors for Asma. She was nominated to attend the 12th Annual CUNY Women’s Leadership Conference, selected as a CUNY works intern and worked with the CUNY Language Immersion Program (CLIP). Her last professional role prior to becoming an SSM was working as a Peer Advisor at LAGCC. Now, with all the personal and professional knowledge and experiences she has gained as a LAGCC alumna, Asma is very excited to be working as a Student Success Mentor. She believes this position gives her an opportunity to give back to LaGuardia by supporting students in navigating their way at LaGuardia!


    Caitlin Dean


    Caitlin Dean graduated from LaGuardia Community College in June 2016 with with their AA in Deaf Studies. They currently work as both a Student Success Mentor and an ASL tutor with the Modern Language Lab. At LaGuardia, Caitlin combines their passions for languages, working to build community, and helping others educate themselves.

    Caitlin hopes to create positive classroom environments where students feel comfortable establishing themselves as new students and empower them to claim the strengths they each already possess. As a queer person, it is especially important to them to help students realize their own power as a community when they share skills, insights, and advocate for the benefit of each other.


    Claire Traore

    Claire Traore is from Burkina Faso in West Africa. She is studying Political Science at LaGuardia Community College. Interested in gender equality and all things which concern equality, she believes that everybody has the same rights and deserves to be happy.

    She wants to become an ambassador of gender equality; and to achieve her goal, she decided to come to the US, to get a better education and opportunities. She is a hard working woman but makes everything fun. She believes that we all can achieve our dreams no matter what and nothing should stop us.

    She likes to be more close to students to help and to motivate them. This is why she decided to become a Student Success Mentor at LaGuardia Community College. She believes that we all have beautiful and inspirational experiences, and that they are the potential in everybody that needs to come out.

    Being an SSM, she will work closely with students to help them to take advantage of all the opportunities on campus, and share her experiences with students to get them motivated to work hard. At the end of this amazing journey, she wants students to learn from her enthusiasm to work, study and apply positive energy in every situation.


    Desire Staley


    Desire Staley is a native New Yorker. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Desire graduated from LaGuardia Community College with an A.A in Psychology. Desire is currently attending a senior college pursuing a major in Psychology and International Studies. Once she achieves her degree, she is determined to pursue a career path in global public health for applied psychology.

    Desire plans to work for an international organization as a mental health counselor. She is passionate about providing counseling and mental health services for children, trauma victims, refugees, or families in need. As a Student Success Mentor, Desire plans to provide support to students to help them progress to their potential academically, personally, and professionally. Furthermore, Desire is motivated to help students move forward in their academics and be aware of the resources LaGuardia has available.


    Elizabeth Jimenez


    Elizabeth Jimenez is a Brooklyn, New York native who has always loved to learn. Coming from immigrant parents, Elizabeth has the ability to view life through a different perspective, motivating her to do things that others believed she couldn’t do.

    She is a first generation college student and graduated from LaGuardia Community College in Spring 2018 earning her Associates in Childhood Education. She’s now working in obtaining her Bachelor’s degree in both Childhood Education and English Language Arts at Hunter College.

    Elizabeth believes that education is a very important and powerful tool and hopes to become the teacher that motivates each one her students to follow their dreams and to succeed. As a Student Success Mentor, Elizabeth feels responsibility in mentoring her students the best she can. It’s the teacher in her that want to see every single one of her students to strive for success.


    Guillermo Briceno


    Guillermo Briceno was born and raised in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Living near the legendary CBGB’s, and St. Mark’s place, he grew up understanding the eccentricities of life. Over time he also became interested in mythology and world religions.

    In his mid to late twenties he decided to return to college as a full time student, majoring in Philosophy at LaGuardia CC. While at LaGuardia, Guillermo became very active in the college life scene by collaborating with various organizations within the college and off campus.

    Guillermo is now attending Queens College where he is continuing his philosophical and theological studies.


    Hafsa Tahir


    Hafsa Tahir was born in Islamabad, Pakistan and has travelled to many countries with her family. She moved to New York because of her father’s job. She is interested in learning everything about the world and that’s why she chose International Studies as her major.

    She wishes to join United Nations one day to support humanitarian causes. She is a LUCE scholar and one of her hobbies is painting. Hafsa is inspired by her mother who was a teacher and believes that education empowers people. She also enjoys using her past knowledge and experience to benefit others.

    As an SSM, her goal is to motivate college students and to never doubt their decision of coming to college. As someone who’s taken the course, Hafsa believes the First Year Seminar is a great way to give confidence to students joining LaGuardia. She believes that LaGuardia creates a great environment to meet different people which broadens one’s perspective of life and improves self-knowledge.

    The FYS is a great place to start.


    Jessica Amar


    Jessica Amar was born and raised in New York City. Her parents were both from Punjab, India. Jessica graduated from LaGuardia Community College in December 2018 with an A.S. Degree in Criminal Justice. She is currently attending John Jay College of Criminal Justice and is working towards her bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice.

    She wants to become a professor for the Criminal Justice department as well as become a manager of a company. Jessica is extremely glad that she is an SSM because she likes working with others. Jessica likes guiding students in the right direction as well as helping them to become successful. She believes in giving and sharing.

    Jessica hopes that her students will learn that they are not alone in college because we all are here for the same goal.


    Jiovanna Melendez


    Jiovanna Melendez is of Puerto Rican descent from both sides of her family. However, she was born and raised in New York City. Due to her Hispanic parents, she speaks both English and Spanish.  Both of her parents instilled the importance of following her dreams and hard work- so college was always a part of her plan. Jiovanna’s first year at LaGuardia was both exciting and intimidating because she knew that it would be hard work. Especially considering that she wants to go for her PSY.D- something that no one in her life has pursued. She is closer to her goals now. Today, she is a LaGuardia graduate and currently attends Queens College in pursuance of her Bachelor's degree in Psychology. Her goal is to obtain her PSY.D in Clinical Psychology to become the head Psychologist of her own firm. In the present, she enjoys her job as an SSM because she loves helping people.

    Working as an SSM gives her the opportunity to do so by connecting her with people who are in need of mentoring or are interested in pursuing their own dreams through education, which she finds to be extremely rewarding. In addition for Jiovanna, she is in search of gaining more lab/research experience in the field of Psychology and Neuroscience while going to school and working.

    She looks forward to working with students and faculty and thanks you for reading her bio.


    Juan Carlos Gil


    Juan Carlos Gil was born in Mexico City. He and his family immigrated to the United States in search of the American Dream. He currently attends LaGuardia Community College and will be graduating with an Associate’s degree in Human Services/ Mental Health by the end of the fall semester 2017.

    He is currently the President of the Human Services club, a member of PTK, and an ASAP scholar. He hope to one day pursue a Master's Degree in Social Work and has applied to several senior colleges to make his dream come true. He would like to work with LGBTQ Youth that are at high risk of contracting HIV/AIDS, facing chronic homelessness, and aging out of the foster care system.

    Juan Carlos has a passion for helping others and finding ways for people to be successful in their lives. He is passionate about education and sees the good in everyone. As an SSM he has the chance to demonstrate the skills he has learned in each of his classes as a human services major. He provides valuable information to incoming first year students that enable them to have a successful college career.

    Juan expects his students to learn and become disciplined in time management, and to know all of the incredible resources available to student at LaGuardia.


    Karla Verana Fartat


    Karla Verana Fartat is from Brazil, where she graduated as an IT Technician from ETFES and completed coursework in mechanical engineering. She attended both courses at the same time while was working as a teacher at night in a public school- teaching math for high school students.

    At the age of 20 years old she became an AutoCAD (computer-aided drafting software program) instructor at SENAC-ES, expanding her work for other institutional places. She also taught courses on topics such as Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Suite. In 2005, She moved to NYC as a full-time student, studying English as a second language at LAGCC.

    She now is studying Computer Science at LAGCC. She wants to become a scientist and develop a tool based on voice-recognition to help teach children with Apraxia of Speech make progress in a shorter time. Her passion is public speaking and helping others to succeed. Her main goal is bringing hope for people who feel lost. Her passion for helping others was her motivation for become an SSM.

    She expects her students to learn that the first step to conquering a big project (dream) is to start it, and the last step depends on their commitment to succeed.


    Karla Sanchez


    At the age of 21, when Karla Sanchez was born and raised in El Salvador. In 2009, she moved to New York looking for an opportunity to finish her higher education and achieve her dreams and career goals. After settling down in New York, she was accepted to LaGuardia Community College where she is now pursuing an A.A.S Degree in New Media Technology. During her first year at LaGuardia, she has achieved good academic performance which leads her to be part of Dean’s List for the Spring and Fall semesters. In addition, she is an active ASAP student and has participated in different activities and seminars that have been helping her to prepare for her academic & career goals. 

    After finishing her A.A.S degree, her next move is to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Design at City Tech College and become a Visual Designer to follow her passion for art and technology. 

    Currently, Karla has received the opportunity to become a Student Success Mentor where she expects to share her experience as a student at LaGuardia with first-year students. She hopes that her story about her journey at LaGuardia can inspire other students to commit to their goals so they can accomplish their dreams.


    Kassandra Luyando


    Kassandra Luyando is a Puerto Rican Americana student born and raised in the South Bronx. Growing up in the South Bronx, being active was necessary in order to remain focused. Her neighbors were family were family, but Kassandra experienced a lot of poverty and neighborhood violence.

    Kassandra was fascinated with candid photography and observational drawing; painting and drawing was a daily activity. She participated in projects and showcases in The Bronx Museum. Her professional goals evolved during her time at LaGuardia Community College. Taking many sociology classes broadened her knowledge on subcultures and urban society issues.

    When she went to her first LaGuardia Event, which was the Modern Language Fair. She then changed majors to Deaf studies. In taking American Sign Language class for her language credit she became fully engaged and intrigued, leading to her change of major. She is currently still enrolled at LAGCC, finishing her degree in Deaf Studies.

    Her goal is to continue in the interpreting program at LaGuardia, or continue in Deaf Education. Kassandra’s future plan is to become an interpreter or become a teacher for Deaf students; teaching History or English. As a mentor, one is guiding individuals to a path of success in college and their personal life; reminding students that every attribute of life, be it work, family and school are all connected.

    Balancing these attributes effectively is vital to becoming successful.

  • Lhamu_Hyolmo

    Lhamu Dolma Hyolmo


    Lhamu Dolma Hyolmo came to The United States in January 2016 at a very young age. Her previous university wanted her to change after her first semester because of her age. She feels lucky to have found CUNY LaGuardia as they accepted her transfer admission and gave her hope for a bright future. She used to sit in the corner of the class and be shy, but everything changed after her first semester. Her first semester gave her a hard time since she was trying hard to adapt to this big city where she almost lost the idea of who she was and what she was supposed to do with her life. 

    Through LaGuardia, she was able to meet so many people who were able to make significant changes in her life. CUNY schools are diverse, and she found herself within so many people's lives. She got a chance to represent LaGuardia in an international honor society called Phi Theta Kappa as a chapter secretary. Being a part of that community helped her to boost her self-confidence. Lhamu didn't want others to be like her and lose sight of themselves. So, she promised herself to make changes in people's lives.

    Lhamu worked as a peer advisor for business students for one semester. Currently, she works as a Student Success Mentor and wants to help students to excel in their first year. The only thing she always wants to share with her students is never to underestimate their abilities and encourage them to dare to dream more.

    LaGuardia was her home back then, but Lhamu graduated in August 2018 and then transferred to CUNY Baruch college where she is currently majoring in Accounting at the Zicklin School of Business. She aspires to become a Certified Public Accountant.

    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.

    Maui Arcuri is a LaGuardia graduate in the Liberal Arts: Math and Science major. He graduated in Spring 2018 and plans to transfer to City College to study Computer science. He originally moved to New York from Hawaii for his love of jazz music, however his interest changed and he had found that studying computer science better suited him. In the future he plans to be a software developer and build his own business around the idea of creativity. He continues to play music as a hobby and enjoys cooking as a means to eat good food and save money.

    Maui hopes to be able to help students learn about LaGuardia and college in general so they have a clearer path to graduation and a career.


    Mohammad Abdur Rahman


    Mohammad Abdur Rahman is an international student from Bangladesh, coming here in 2015 with the Presidential scholarship to the University of Bridgeport. After spending a year at UB, he transferred to CUNY LaGuardia Community College.

    He graduated from LaGuardia Community College with Communication Studies (Public Relations) Major in Spring 2018. He is currently pursuing his Bachelor's at CUNY Baruch College in International and Intercultural Communication.

    After his Bachelor’s Mohammad, wants to earn his Master’s degree as well. With strong academic knowledge and vast experience in the International and Intercultural sectors, his plan is to work for global, international, multinational, or public organizations. Besides, he likes teaching and has plans to teach in his field of expertise in the future.

    Now, as a proud Student Success Mentor, his most fascinating experience about this SSM program is the engagement with a hugely diverse student body here at LaGuardia Community College. He wants to continue his journey as an SSM to shape the way for his students with the right direction and best instructions that will lead them to a successful College experience and prepare them for their careers.


    Monami Nagai


    After working as a Brand Trainer, Monami realized that she needed a career change in order to fulfill her strong desire to help others. After becoming a Liberal Arts major in Spring 2018, she was able to find success as a student and find her path in life through the guidance of her professors and mentors at LaGuardia, where she graduated with High Honors in Spring 2019.

    She now attends Columbia University where she majors in Urban Studies. Eventually, Monami hopes to work in educational reform, because as a second-generation American who sometimes struggled in an education system that wasn’t made with her in mind and then as a student who thrived at LaGuardia, she knows that success comes readily when a system is designed to support you.

    As an SSM, she hopes to help new students feel supported so that they can reach their goals in the LaGuardia community.


    Pema Thinle Mahatara Khamba


    Originally from Nepal, Pema has been living in United State since 2016 pursuing his higher studies. He graduated in spring 2019 with an Associate’s degree in Business Administration and is planning to transfer to Baruch so that he can acquire a bachelor's degree in finance, and pursue his dream to become a financial manager.

    Beside his academic interests, Pema is also enthusiastic about helping others which has led him to volunteer for several on-campus clubs that advocate for student empowerment. Over the years, he has been actively assisting students, offering them guidance on on-campus resources and contributed to their academic success.

    Seeing students he offered advisement to succeeding in their academics, and his general enthusiasm for advocating student empowerment, has reinforced Pema’s sense of responsibility to work more in the area of student success. Considering the importance of student success in his own life, he decided to become a Student Success Mentor so that he can continue his interest of motivating students to get more active and to succeed on-campus.


    Peta-Gaye Dixon


    Peta-Gaye Dixon was born and raised Jamaica. She immigrated to the United States approximately 4 years ago to advance herself not only financially, but also intellectually. This drive led her first to LaGuardia Community College where she successfully pursued her AA degree in Childhood Education and now to Brooklyn College with a dual major in Childhood Education and Child/Youth Studies.

    She will eventually obtain her Masters in Special Education and Arts in Education. “Everyone has the ability to attain greatness, regardless of their situation” because of this mindset, she intends to become a Special Education Teacher for elementary students. This career choice has been a lifelong passion of hers because she enjoys helping others grow and become the best version of themselves.

    The first semester at LaGuardia was difficult, but because of the help available, she was able to overcome her challenges which is the main drive for her as an SSM. With the lessons from prior/current situations encountered, she intends to share tips, tools, suggestions, and basically an overall LaGuardia tip-sheet which will make her students’ college experience not only manageable, but memorable!


    Phylicia Emanuel


    Phylicia Emanuel was born on New Year’s Day and is a native of Brooklyn, NY. She has two children and is a full time student. Phylicia graduated from LaGuardia Community College in the winter of 2017 and now Attends Brooklyn College with hopes of graduating in 2019 with her Bachelor’s in Education in hopes of becoming a Social Studies teacher for grades 7-12.

    Even though her progress at LaGuardia was a bumpy road, she still strived to graduate and remain on the Dean's list. Being a mom is hard enough, but to go to school and work at the same time is just simple- it just takes motivation and a will to push forward through any and every situation. After graduating from Brooklyn, Phylicia, plans on continuing her education in receiving her Master’s and also working full time as not only a social studies teacher but also as a mentor to those who are in need.

    Her passion grows with helping underprivileged children who do not have certain resources that will allow them to achieve greatness. As an SSM, she plans on working hand in hand with both the students in her Studio Hours as well as her faculty partners so that she will be able to help with anything that her students need assistance in. Phylicia hopes that at the end of her semester facilitating her Studio Hours, students will understand all the resources that are available at LaGuardia and to utilize them to the best of their ability so that their journey at LaGuardia will have minimal bumps in the road.


    Rachel Moreno


    Rachel Moreno grew up in Lancaster, California where she spent her childhood days singing and dancing. As time went by Rachel dreamed about becoming a Latin pop singer/R&B singer and a professional dancer. However, after having to endure an unfortunate circumstance at the age of 6 and confronting her demons at the age of 14, she was introduced first hand to the world of law enforcement leading her dreams of becoming a singer into just hobbies. After witnessing the minimal care law enforcement officers showed in her local police station, Rachel was motivated to be a part of a solution and had new dreams: ensuring the support and the safety and protection of others. The desire to help others and to be a source of information sparked her interest to first become a detective in her community. After much research (and TV watching) she decided to pursue a career with the FBI. 

    After being accepted to The King’s College in NY, where Rachel initially majored in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics, she encountered a new challenge of keeping up with her studies and her classmates without losing sight of her long-term goals. In the end, Rachel felt isolated and fell behind in her classes by investing more in her social life than academic life.  Letting her grades slip and resulted in an academic suspension. Now, with a second chance at pursuing her degree, Rachel continues her education at LaGuardia Community College with a major in Criminal Justice. She hopes that her story will encourage others to persevere and look beyond the obstacles they may face both as a student, and as an adult. By being an SSM, she aspires to be a resource and a reference for her students so that they can achieve their goals and their dreams. Rachel is the Student Advisory Council Chairman for the active clubs on campus, a Phi Theta Kappa member, and the first to attend college in her family.  She hopes to be another example of “Yes, you can!” as she prepares to graduate from LaGuardia in the Spring of 2018.


    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.

    Originally from Albania, Rei enthusiastically moved to New York to follow his dream of becoming a software developer. As a LaGuardia student, Rei has actively participated in co-curricular activities such as: Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Campus Life Peer Leader, President’s Society, and has also participated in the CUNY Hackathon for Spring 2018.

    These various co-curricular activities fostered his passion for helping others as well as guided him towards realizing his long-term aspirations. Rei plans to use this experience as a motivational tool to inspire his students to dare to do more. Rei enjoys photography, soccer and learning new languages. He is skilled in multiple languages, Java, C++, critical thinking, and leadership.


    Salih Mansur


    Before arriving at LaGuardia in March 2016, Salih Mansur had studied widely in design and communication arts, and had earned degrees in several of these areas before taking a five-year break to figure out what he really wanted to do. During this time, on top of freelance multimedia work, Salih did his best to keep his mind in shape by taking courses in test techniques, accounting, business communications, and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) while attending self-development, discovery, and transformation seminars.Since he’s always wondered why beings do what they do, and along with the self-improvement courses, those five years gave him some time to think about studying psychology and the human mind at LaGuardia which was one of his best decisions. 

    Salih aspires to become an educational psychologist which he believes that he can do well since he had a hard time keeping up with his studies from the age of 13 to 21. Salih can use these experiences to help simplify and make education accessible by everyone through technology and mind techniques.

    Salih’s passion is to help everyone get the basics of education, and he believes the world could be a better place through it.  He is happy and motivated to be an SSM because he believes he can help many people discover their passion through ePortfolio and have the proper academic infrastructure to further their education. Salih expects his students to learn from his experiences, and to study themselves to be the best they can be.


    Samad Sunny


    After moving to New York from Bangladesh, Samad faced many financial hardships that threatened his ability to pursue his dreams. Through hard work and determination, Samad proved to be a top-notch student having graduated from LaGuardia in Fall 2018 with the highest honor. His success is as commendable as his passion for helping others.

    He works as a Student Success Mentor, through which, he helps the at risk students to remain in college and guide them to right track, by sharing his experiences as a fellow LaGuardian. In his second semester at LaGuardia he participated in First Year Seminar Leadership Program, where he mentored the freshmen and helped them familiarized with LaGuardia environment well.

    Samad is also an Ambassador of LaGuardia’s President’s Society Club, a member of Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, and represented LaGuardia in the CUNY Financial Literacy Program. His goal is to earn his Bachelor’s degree in CIS from Baruch College by 2020 and work for Google. Samad believes that by sharing his experiences with incoming LaGuardia students, he will motivate them to take advantage of college resources, participate in extracurricular activities, all while doing well in their academics.


    Sherae A. Smith


    Sherae A. Smith was born and raised in Queens, New York. As the daughter of immigrant parents from Belize, she was always exposed to different people and experiences. After surviving cancer, she decided to take a chance and finish her education. This led her to LaGuardia Community College where she studied International Studies. After graduating in Fall 2018 she then Transferred over to Baruch College to study marketing.

    At Baruch she hopes to graduate with a degree in Digital Marketing and work for a renowned company, helping to take their brand to the next level. She plans to use her love for languages and cultures to help others. As an SSM she does this by helping her students realize their potential and that LAGCC is here to help. Seeing her students succeed is her biggest motivation. Sherae hopes that her students can take from her story and learn that regardless of age, background or personal situation, that earning a degree is possible.

    Somi Ahmed was born and raised in Dhaka, Bangladesh. She is studying in Liberal Arts; Social Science and Humanities at LaGuardia Community College. She came to the U.S.A. in 2015, went to high school and graduated in 2017. She is a transfer student from a senior college. The reason she transferred colleges is because she did not get the motivation that she expected for the hard work that she was applying to her studies. In other words, she did not get the inspiration to keep her pushing forward. Then, she transferred to LaGuardia Community College. From the beginning to now, she worked hard and participated as much as possible. Somi participated in programs and organizations as the America Needs You Fellowship, Phi Theta Kappa, the CUNY Summer Corps, the e-Portfolio Scholars Program, the LaGuardia Library Research Contest, Asian American Voice Journal, the CUNY Service Corps- Puerto Rico, and was a Futures Initiative Leadership Fellow at the CUNY Graduate Center. Also, she has participated in tabling events for the e-Portfolio showcase and much more.

    English is Somi’s second language but the language difficulty helped her to become who she is right now. She is incredibly grateful for the opportunities she has been offered in America. Coming from Bangladesh, it was difficult for her to meet new people and blend into the community.

    However, through support and help, she was able to become a part of the community. Somi believes in working hard, never giving up and being positive in every situation. Furthermore, she will finish her associate’s degree in Liberal Arts: Social Science and Humanities this Fall 2019, and she wants to transfer to a SUNY or a private university. Finally, at the end of the day her long-term goal to become an entrepreneur in her home country in Bangladesh.


    Sonica Lama


    Sonica Lama was born in Nepal, and raised in both Nepal and India. She moved to the United States in 2016 to achieve her ambitions. She is currently studying at LaGuardia Community College, pursuing an Associate’s degree in Computer Operations. She will graduate in the summer of 2018.

    She truly believes in herself, and aspires to become a Cyber Security Specialist. She loves technology, as she believes in progress. Technology has made people's lives easier and more convenient. Her goal is to lead a good life and find the best in herself.

    When she transferred to LAGCC from South Dakota State University, she faced a lot of cultural differences that initially made her feel uncomfortable and out of place. She overcame those difficulties with the help and support of Student Success Mentors and International Student Services.

    Due to these resources, she had a better experience at LAGCC, and she eagerly wants to help first year students and/or international students to avoid such difficulties by sharing her own experiences and knowledge. By becoming an SSM, Sonica hopes that her students will understand the importance of connecting with peers and desires to help them live and experience a better college life.

    Born and raised on the Atlantic coast of Colombia, Susana grew in her curiosity and love for languages and cultures beyond the frontiers of her country. She currently resides in New York City, where she is pursuing her Associate’s in English - Spanish Translation.

    Susana chose to study at LaGuardia Community College upon the recommendation of close friends and the good reputation that the college has. She expects to graduate in the Fall of 2019. Susana’s passion is to be able to help others, this is intertwined with her role as a Student Success Mentor.

    The opportunity to mentor fellow students and impact their academic experience in a positive way by sharing her own academic journey is something that motivates her. As she continues as an SSM, she aspires that her students will develop the boldness to ask questions, get involved in co-curricular activities, and to believe in themselves.


    Unique Upreti


    Unique Upreti Born and raised in Nepal, Unique moved to the U.S. to pursue a better life. He graduated from LaGuardia in spring 2019 with an A.S degree majoring in Computer Science. He currently attends John Jay College of Criminal Justice and is pursuing his bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Information Security.

    He previously worked as a Peer Advisor at LaGuardia as well as a President’s Society member before joining the SSM team. Unique has a passion for helping others and in 2015 volunteered with the Nepal Red-Cross Society helping those affected by the devastating earthquake that struck his home country. He plans to use his computer science degree and interest in business to help him achieve his goal of becoming an entrepreneur as well as making an impact on the world.

    As an SSM, Unique plans to help new students by sharing his own knowledge and experiences to assist them in achieving their goals and graduating on time.


    Zakia Mahabub


    Zakia Mahabub was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh. She came to the United States of America along with her family as an immigrant in 2014. She graduated from LaGuardia Community College with an A.S majoring in Computer Science in Spring 2017. She now has transferred to the City College of New York to pursue her Bachelor's in Computer Engineering.

    She loves to meet new people and explore the world around her. She believes that our choices reflect what we truly are, rather than our abilities. Her passion for helping and motivating others led her to work as a Student Success Mentor at LaGuardia Community College. She believes that LaGuardia is a place of diversity. She wants to give back to this diverse community and admires to be a part of this institution.