Bronx, NY — Bronx Community College Scholarship Student Frank Pena has traveled to the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico but never in his wildest dreams did he think he would leave his Bronx neighborhood for Shanghai, China and take an 18-hour flight from New York to San Francisco to Shanghai on December 26, the day after Christmas. The Business Administration Major with a Management Option is BCC’s winner of a Study and Travel Opportunity for CUNY Students (STOCS) $1,500 scholarship at City University of New York. Always fascinated by how economies and markets operate, he will learn, for the next four weeks, how China’s economy, one of the fastest growing in the world, moves.
He is one of 35 students from The City University of New York who will be traveling to China.
When he first learned he had won, he was in his Accounting 11 Class. Professor David Gordon called to tell him. “I left my class and stepped outside to talk. I then started jumping up and down,” stated Mr. Pena, who has a 3.9 average, about his enthusiasm. His mother was hesitant about letting him go because Shanghai is so far way but his father said go ahead. Both his mother and father are teachers in the Dominican Republic. It was only the second time that the 19-year-old, Business Administration Major had ever won a prize. Last spring he won an opportunity to visit the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D. C. but couldn’t go at the last minute when he took sick and had to cancel.
When he graduates he hopes to go to an Ivy League school and pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration (BBA) and the area of concentration will be Finance. He had postponed thinking about his upcoming trip December 26. The subway strike was a distraction. And, for the past three weeks, he’s been busy studying for his finals. When they are over, he says he will engage in a crash reading effort to learn about China’s history and culture.
“Winning this travel scholarship will give me the opportunity to observe everyday business activities and to explore Chinese history, philosophy and culture. I will be able to experience another country, to meet the people, and to learn the country’s traditions, customs and way of life,” stated Frank. While he is in China for four weeks until January 25 he will be taking two courses: Business in Contemporary China and Chinese Mandarin at Shanghai University.
Frank is President of the BCC Business Club, a Student Ambassador, Phi Theta Kappa Member, Student Representative to Student Government and Student representative to the BCC Auxiliary Enterprises Corporation, which decides on allocating funds to best serve students.
To be selected, Frank had to write a 500 word essay on the benefits of taking a trip to Shanghai. “Since I was little kid, I remember watching TV and seeing CNN business analysts. “I’ve always wanted to know how economies and financial markets operate,” Frank added.
BCC is a great place says Frank. It’s a college that gives you opportunities and puts you together with students of diverse backgrounds. His favorite courses are economics, history, and business. His favorite Professors are Leon Battista, Jacqueline Gutwirth, and Clarence Perkins.
Frank strongly recommends BCC to other students. “To get good grades, you have to set your mind on goals. You have to apply yourself. Be focused. And use common sense. Nobody should have to keep telling you.”
When Frank is not studying, he likes going to movies, playing basketball, weight training, and cardio-fitness exercises and loves to eat Italian, Chinese, and Latin American food.