Long Island City, NY—Two LaGuardia Community College students who graduated this year with honors have received the highly selective Finch College Scholarship.
Zineb Bouizy, a Liberal Arts: Math and Science graduate; and Harmonie Kobanghe, a Liberal Arts: Social Sciences and Humanities graduate, were among four community college women to be awarded a $2,000 grant to be used toward completing their four-year degree. In the fall, Zineb will be attending City College’s Grove School of Engineering as a civil engineering major; Harmonie will be attending Georgetown University where she will major in international relations with a minor in women’s and gender studies.
The Finch grant, which is awarded by the Finch College Alumnae Association Foundation, makes it possible for today’s women to continue college and begin preparing for professional careers.
“This generous grant will allow me to afford the increased expense of a four-year college without sacrificing my commitment to academic excellence,” said Zineb.
Harmonie said she will put her award toward a laptop, which she could not afford while she was a student at LaGuardia. “I was always struggling to pay my tuition as an international student,” said Harmonie. “This award will allow me to make this valuable purchase that will be a valuable academic tool.”
Zineb, a native of Morocco, enrolled in LaGuardia in 2009 to pursue a long-time dream: to become an environmental civil engineer and mathematician. While maintaining a 3.8 G.P.A., Zineb managed to tutor students in the Math Learning Center. And this summer she is enrolled in a science program at Barnard College.
“I’m willing to do whatever it takes to uncover my hidden talent, advance my current knowledge and learn new skills,” she said. At City College she will do all three.
Harmonie, whose parents fled the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo and settled in France, said she feels compelled to earn her law degree and return to the Congo to use the “weapon of education” to advocate for women ravaged by the war.
Her interest in social justice was cultivated at LaGuardia. A class in U. S. Power and Politics opened her eyes to the injustices in the American criminal justice system towards minorities and prompted her to volunteer at Rikers Island. There she interviewed over 50 inmates and encouraged them to register for the jail’s GED classes.
At Georgetown she will further pursue her passion. “This program will provide me with a strong cross cultural understanding of the interconnections among globalization, human rights abuse and sexual violence against women,” she said.
After earning a bachelor’s degree she plans on completing a law degree with a focus on international women’s human rights. Ultimately, as a human rights lawyer, she hopes to create an international organization to help the women of the Congo who were victims of violence and war reclaim their lives, become empowered, and gain a voice in the governance of their countries.
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LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit www.laguardia.edu to learn more.