My name is Joshua Richard Tanon. I am a full-time ASAP student in my last semester at Borough of Manhattan Community College studying Engineering Science., and will be transferring to a four-year school to study Aerospace Engineering in fall 2015. I have been an ASAP student since the fall of 2013 and will be accomplishing ASAP’s mission of graduating with an associate degree within three years. Before ASAP, I had difficulty affording books and trouble keeping up with increasing Metrocard costs. I was unable to work because trying to balance school, home priorities, and studying proved to be too much. At the same time, it became a burden for my mother, a single parent, to afford books and travel expenses for two students (my brother who attends LaGuardia Community College and myself). Thanks to ASAP, she has been freed from that burden as we have both participated in ASAP!
Not only was funding an issue and therefore the financial benefits of ASAP important, but the benefit of ASAP advising was important as well. I was actually enrolled in BMCC for a year starting in fall of 2012 before being accepted into ASAP. I had been advised poorly and was falling behind, in danger of not being able to graduate on time. At the end of the fall 2013 semester, I was formally accepted into the ASAP Student Leader program. I am now one of three leaders that represents hundreds of BMCC ASAP students whose journey has been just as hard or harder than mine. I am a role model for those students in the recruitment pipeline, advising them on how the process works and helping them to acclimate to community college. As a student leader, I attend monthly workshops with student leaders at other ASAP campuses where we get to participate in a variety of activities to strengthen our leadership skills. It is at these workshops that I have learned to become a better speaker and listener, and to empathize and advocate for those whose voices deserve to be heard in the ASAP community. It has been an excellent and productive experience and I have started to become the leader I have always wanted to be.
Although I was supposed to stay through the summer to support ASAP recruitment, I have been offered the opportunity of a lifetime. I was extended a NASA internship at Edwards Air Force Base in California. I will be a part of a team of six interns at the Armstrong Flight Research Center working on developing sensors for a Mars Glider that will achieve low level flight. I was shocked at the offer, never imagining something so competitive and of this magnitude would ever be offered to me.
The ASAP program has had a huge impact on many students such as myself. Not only does it help students to succeed despite all the hardships they must overcome, it also helps students learn more about themselves and realize their true potential. Without my experience in ASAP, I honestly don’t believe I would have applied to either MIT or the NASA program. After a year of being a part of ASAP, I have excelled and been given the breathing room I needed to focus on school and priorities outside of school. I will graduate in May 2015 with a 3.92 GPA. Without ASAP, I don’t know where I’d be today.
“From BMCC to NASA”. Read more
Joshua was also featured in this article from Crain’s New York here.