Every year, we highlight featured CUNY BMI alumni from across the 31 CUNY BMI projects representing 24 different CUNY institutions! We celebrate these Stellar Scholars, who in many cases go on to the next CUNY institution, to amazing careers and also in some cases become CUNY BMI staff members at their former BMI project. Congratulations, CUNY BMI Stellar Scholars – this is just the beginning!
2018 CUNY BMI Stellar Scholars
Jeffrey Acosta, a first-generation Latino born and raised in the Bronx, is a senior SEEK student and scholar of the Urban Male Leadership Academy at Baruch College. He graduated from Baruch College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a minor in Economics from the Weismann School of Liberal Arts.
Throughout his undergraduate career, Jeffrey has been involved in a plethora of clubs on campus, such as the Association of Latino Professionals in America, the SEEK Society, The Noir Show on Baruch’s radio station, and the Lexington League.
Jeffrey’s first exposure to the financial services industry was when he attended boot camps at a few bulge bracket firms, such as Goldman Sachs & Morgan Stanley. He also participated in a case study competition led by Morgan Stanley and is a graduate of the Barclays Streetwise Partners Program. During the spring semester of his sophomore year, Jeffrey completed a finance internship at a boutique asset management firm.
Jeffrey was also awarded a coveted Chinese Cultural Exchange Program (CCECP) scholarship. This enabled him to study Cultural Communications in China, in the summer of 2016. In the summer of 2017, Jeffrey was chosen from a pool of thousands of applicants, to complete a paid internship in Charlotte, NC with Bank of America Merrill Lynch in their Global Human Resources division. At the end of this internship, he was extended a full-time offer to join the firm upon graduation.
During Jeffrey’s last year at Baruch, he served as the Lexington League’s Recruitment Manager at Baruch College while maintaining full-time status as a student. In addition, he assisted admissions counselors with off-campus recruitment initiatives, primarily in the Bronx. These initiatives included presenting at high school visits and college fairs to inform prospective applicants about Baruch’s academic programs, and student life. Jeffrey also served as Baruch’s Black Male Initiative Student Liaison in which he supported transfer students from underrepresented backgrounds with their transition into Baruch College.
He has graduated from Baruch College in May 2018 and has accepted the offer to join Bank of America Merrill Lynch as a full-time analyst in July of 2018.
Bacare Jamecay is a graduating senior of class 2018. Born in Seattle, Washington, Bacare and his family moved to New York when at the age of 8. Being the first in his family to graduate from high school was an accomplishment that he was proud of, but he knew it was far from enough. The SEEK/BMI program at Baruch College has played a huge role in both Bacare’s professional and personal development throughout his tenure at Baruch. Being in the SEEK/BMI program as well as the Urban Male Leadership Academy, which is another program within the SEEK umbrella, has supplied him with many tools that have truly impacted his growth in the last 4 years. One of the main things that was supplied was a whole network of mentors and upperclassmen that have helped him every step of the way. Bacare always had people in his corner that helped whenever he asked, and this including his UMLA brothers as well as SEEK/BMI faculty like counselor Rebecca Quainoo. Through amazing guidance and the willingness to help in anyway, SEEK/BMI has led to him gather so many amazing opportunities, including internships with AOL and Google, as well as entrance into fellowship programs like America Needs You (ANY) and Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT). SEEK/BMI has supplied Bacare with a family on campus literally from the first day of his college career to the last. Being a productive member in the SEEK/BMI community has really been an absolute pleasure, and he will forever be a proud member of the Baruch SEEK/BMI family; especially during his transition into the role at Goldman Sachs as a Credit Risk Analyst.
My name is Andre David Denoon. Brooklyn, New York born and South African raised. At about age of eight years old, my mother and I relocated to South Africa. I recently relocated back to New York, last year March. I made the decision to return in order to commence and pursue my college education; and this is currently taking place at Brooklyn College. Prior I completed the HSE Adult Literacy Program. My goal is to obtain my Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in International Business. Upon completion of my Bachelor’s Degree I plan on attending Law School in order to obtain my Juris Doctor. It is my intention to become an attorney who will focus on international business practices. My inspiration to become a lawyer resulted from my mom being a practicing lawyer and eventually a Civil Court Judge in New York, before relocating to South Africa. In addition, my intention on becoming an international business attorney is to develop business strategies for international companies and to offer domestic companies international representation. Apart from academia, I am a very determined, out-going, athletic young man; who loves life and his family, has aspirations to inspire those around me and others across the world; also making it a better place.
Amy Wu entered the Brooklyn College BC Bound Program in Spring 2014 with her GED from Project Reach Youth’s Young Adult Education Program. Amy Wu completed a year-long fellowship in the National Science Foundation REU Site Intersection of Linguistics, Language and Culture Program where she conducted research as an undergraduate student in the Brooklyn College Linguistics Laboratory. She is a recipient of the Joseph Tauber Scholarship & Incentive Scholarship. Amy Wu was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa chapter at Brooklyn College in May 2018 for her exceptional work and contributions to the Brooklyn College community. She has a GPA of 3.742 and majored in Linguistics with a minor in Computer Science. Amy has been accepted to Brandeis University for the Fall 2018 semester and will be pursuing her Master of Science in Computational Linguistics with a scholarship.
Bethsaina Balan immigrated to the United States in early 2016. Upon arrival, she immediately immersed herself in serving as a youth member of Flanbwayan Haitian Literacy Project, which is a community-based organization that works with new immigrant youth. She was a leader and active member of the community. When she tested for her high school equivalency diploma and received it on her first attempt in 2016, she did not hesitate in helping her fellow youth members by tutoring them on the TASC exam. Additionally, she spoke on the organization’s youth committee to voice the collective opinions of the group. Because of her strong activism, she was a recipient of the Scholarship of New York State Youth Leadership Council Team in December 2016.
Not only has Bethsaina been generous with her time and efforts to the Haitian community, but she has been an admirable member of the Brooklyn College BC Bound community. Bethsaina is a pre-medical student pursuing her bachelors of science, majoring in psychology. She is determined to have a career in cardiology. When she is not studying, she can be found speaking to the new and current BC Bound students. She aims to be a peer mentor in the Fall 2018 term.
Stephane Laurent was born and raised in Haiti, an Island in the Caribbean Sea. Back in Haiti, he and his family selflessly conducted humanitarian work with the little that they could provide. One of their most recent projects to help their community was during the earthquake in Haiti. Despite their own hardships, they opened their homes to other families and people in need. Stephane and his family were involved with volunteering time at Church and finances for youth education. When Stephane is not volunteering at church, he is playing chess and the drums.
When Stephane immigrated to the United States in December 2016, he tenaciously adapted to the changes. He learned a new language and culture while receiving his GED and worked long hours to help support his family. In Spring 2018, Stephane began his college career at the Brooklyn College BC Bound Program. He attended full-time school and worked full-time at night and on weekends with the state company called BIRCH Family Services as a DSP (Direct Professional Support) where he takes care of people with autism and other developmental disabilities. Stephane’s first semester at Brooklyn College was academically challenging, but it did not deter him from receiving a 4.0 GPA and Dean’s List recognition. Stephane is a pre-medical student and will be attending medical school after receiving his bachelor’s degree. His dream is to either be a neurologist or surgeon.
Mark Anthony Wilson was born on January 15, 1975 in Georgetown, The Republic of Guyana. From a very early age, Mark showed signs of leadership. He was involved in mobilizing young people in his community through sports, debate and social activism. He had a strong desire for helping young people in his community, especially idle ones, to stay out of trouble. Mark also formed a social club named, The Allies Sports Club, which was used to promote the interest of the youth in his community. The club allowed several youth members to be exposed to training and employment opportunities. Mark has a passion for social and criminal Justice, which is exhibited in his joining the Guyana Police Force at the age of eighteen as a constable. While in the Guyana Police Force, Mark attended the University of Guyana and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Management in 2001.
On May 19, 2015, Mark migrated to the United States of America as a permanent resident along with his family. He immediately received his GED, and shortly thereafter, enrolled in the BC Bound Program at Brooklyn College. Mark was delighted to be accepted into the program even though he had not been exposed to that level of education for about fifteen (15) years. Mark is a full-time student by day, works a full-time job by night, and is a full-time husband and a father to two children, 11 and 8 year-round. He is now an upper sophomore and has been on the Dean’s List for two consecutive semesters. Mark continues to excel in his academic life and impresses the BC Bound community with his zeal for learning, friendship, and family.
Jesslyn Maldonado is an alumnus of the Future Now Program. Tiffany graduated with her GED in 2013 and then enrolled in BCC as a Liberal Arts Major. She graduated from Bronx Community College this past June and will be pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Communications at Baruch College. Jesslyn has made future now her home and she never shies away from using her life to affect our influence our current H.S.E students. She always volunteers at our events as a way to give back to her community. Regardless of her tough upbringing, Jesslyn remained persistent while growing into the poised and responsible young woman she is today. Her ultimate goal is to become a brand ambassador for an organization whose corporate social responsibility agenda is in favor of the betterment of her community.
Destiny Vega is an alumnus of the Future Now Program. Shortly, after obtaining her GED Diploma and completing college prep, she enrolled at BCC, as an English major with the ambition of becoming a High School Teacher in the Bronx. At BCC, she has served as a Student Ambassador for the ASAP program. In addition, she is supporting the Future Now Program by providing tutoring services in writing to many college students. With her amazing skills, she helps assist the college team in preparing prospective BCC students for the Accuplacer CUNY Entrance Exam. Destiny graduated with her Associates Degree (with honors) in June 2018 and will be attending Lehman College in the fall 2018 to pursue a Bachelors and Master’s Degree in English and Education.
Michelle Carrera is an alumnus of the Future Now Program. Shortly, after obtaining her High School Diploma and completing college prep, she enrolled at BCC as a Human Services major. Michelle is most known for her hard work and dedication. At Future Now, she has served as a peer mentor as well as a Database Manager. With her great organizational abilities, she is in charge of collecting important data used by the program to make informed decisions and projections. In addition, she serves as a role model to many students who respect and trust her expertise. Michelle recently graduated from BCC with her Associates Degree. In the spring 2019, she will be joining Lehman College in hope to become a Social Worker.
Hasan Washington has enjoyed remarkable success during his time at BMCC and is helping to change the narrative for black men who have been incarcerated. As an UMLA Ambassador, Hasan played a key role in shaping the program to improve academic outcomes for men of color at BMCC. He served as Vice-President for the Honor Society of Black Student Scholars Club, where he worked to foster academic achievement in the BMCC community by organizing numerous workshops and activities. Hasan is an advocate for the Fortune Society, where he works to provide opportunities to individuals with prior criminal justice involvement. Hasan also serves as a peer mentor for the College Initiative, where he helps students who have been formerly incarcerated to persist and thrive in college. Moreover, Hasan works with the Manhattan Early College Academy for Advertising (MECA), where he provides mentorship/tutoring to juniors and seniors in high school with the aim of helping them navigate a successful transition to higher education. Hasan’s amazing track record of success and leadership has turned him into a sought-after panelist/speaker on the topic of reentry.
Hasan graduated in spring 2018 from BMCC with a degree in Human Services and will continue his education at Lehman College in fall 2018. Hasan plans to pursue a career in social work.
Shaiku Jalloh has always possessed a strong desire to help others succeed. During his time at BMCC, he provided mentorship to his fellow students through the Each One Reach One Peer Mentoring Program. Shaiku was a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and was involved in numerous STEM initiatives at the college. A skilled researcher, Shaiku paired with faculty at the college to analyze the bioactivity of several South African medicinal plants to determine their suitability for use in treating inflammation. Shaiku became an UMLA Ambassador in his sophomore year and continued to excel in his coursework. He earned a spot in the prestigious BMCC/NYU Pipeline for Intercollegiate STEM Education (POISE) program. Through the connections and experience Shaiku obtained through POISE, he was offered a scholarship to the New York University College of Arts and Sciences and the University of Rochester.
Shaiku graduated from BMCC in spring 2018 with an associate degree in Science. Shaiku will study a pre-medical curriculum beginning fall 2018 and plans to become a medical doctor.
Juan Garcia is steadfast in his commitment to academic excellence. As a peer mentor in the BMCC Each One Reach One (EORO) program, he provided crucial support to BMCC students who were struggling academically. Juan also worked with high school students at the Manhattan Early College Academy (MECA) to provide essential tutoring and support to aid them in their studies and exams. As an UMLA Ambassador, Juan was responsible for planning and executing numerous group activities focused on enhancing learning and engagement among his peers. While working as an UMLA Ambassador, Juan simultaneously served as the president of the Honor Society of Black Student Scholars, where he helped to build a thriving community of high-achieving students of color. Juan was also heavily involved in research at BMCC and was accepted into the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) in Satellite and Ground-Based Remote Sensing at the Cooperative Remote Sensing Science and Technology (CREST) Center 2018 summer program.
Juan graduated from BMCC with an associate degree in Engineering Science in 2017 and is continuing his studies in Electrical Engineering at City College.
Andre Simon is no stranger to success. Before entering college at BMCC, Andre was a professional cyclist in Antigua. Andre carried over the focus, grit, and determination he developed from his competitive cycling background and thrust it into his academics. Andre joined UMLA in his very first semester and was an active and engaged student leader from the start. In his second semester, Andre became a mentor in the Each One Reach One program, earned a spot on the Dean’s list, and was elected president of the BMCC Student Government Association (SGA). As SGA president, Andre spearheaded numerous initiatives to create opportunities for underrepresented students, including international, DACA, and undocumented students. Andre’s government advocated for open educational resources to reduce/eliminate textbook costs, and resisted changes to CUNY’s by-laws that would weaken students’ ability to self-govern. While Andre was fully committed to serving the student body, his academics remained a chief priority. Andre graduated from BMCC this spring 2018 with a degree in Business Administration and a perfect 4.0 GPA! Andre will attend the Baruch College Zicklin School of Business in fall 2018 where he will pursue a bachelor’s degree in Business
Kasson Colon-Mangin exemplifies what the CUNY BMI model is all about. When Kasson first came to BMCC, he participated in the college’s Building Outstanding Leaders of Tomorrow (BOLT) program where he developed a taste for student leadership. A chess connoisseur, Kasson became the president of the BMCC Chess Club. Kasson then went on to serve as treasurer for the Student Government Association (SGA), where he was responsible for managing a multimillion-dollar budget. As an SGA executive, Kasson played a key role spurring collaboration among student clubs and organizations. After his time with SGA, Kasson became one of the founding members of the UMLA Ambassadors and helped UMLA develop several creative initiatives such as UMLA TV and the UMLA Media Team. Kasson quest for self-knowledge led him to the Birthright Africa program, where he traveled to Ghana to explore his cultural roots, build an international business network, and affirm his spiritual connection to the mother continent. Kasson continues to be highly active in the UMLA/CUNY BMI communities and was recently selected to be president of the BMI Intercollegiate Council.
Kasson graduated from BMCC in fall 2017 and is currently attending City College where he majors in Black Studies and minors in Legal Studies. He participates in the Urban Mentoring and Achievement Networking BMI project, where he manages the program’s Chess Club.
Texas native Babatunde Ogunniyi is known on the BMCC campus for two things: greeting his fellow students with a “howdy,” and his undying commitment to student success. He quickly became a key figure within UMLA due to his natural charisma and easygoing personality. Babatunde excelled academically in first two semesters, earning distinction at the college’s 4.0 Achievers Ceremony. After taking a semester off to travel back to Texas, Babatunde came back to New York on a mission to succeed. He was elected Vice-President of the BMCC Student Government Association (SGA), where he managed a $1.7 million dollar budget and fiercely advocated on behalf of the student body. Babatunde oversaw the SGA Personnel Committee and served as a delegate to CUNY University Student Senate. Babatunde was one of 10 students at the college chosen to be a Fellow in the Goldman Sachs Local College Collaborative program, an intensive six-month program where teams from select colleges are assigned a Business Case Challenge. Babatunde’s excellent track record of academic success and leadership led him to be accepted into the prestigious NYU/BMCC Pipeline Opportunities for Intercollegiate STEM Education program (POISE), where he further honed his leadership skills and was immersed in an elite college environment.
Babatunde graduated from BMCC in spring 2018 with a degree in Computer Science. He plans to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and become an entrepreneur.
Fatimah Barrie graduated Summa Cum Laude from The City College of New York with a Bachelor’s in Political Science and a Bachelor’s in Black Studies and an overall GPA of 3.96. On campus, Fatimah served as Secretary for the Roosevelt Institute at The City College of New York and a peer mentor for the Urban Mentoring and Achievement Network (UMAAN), a CUNY BMI project at CCNY. Fatimah is an active member of The National Council of Negro Women, The Guinean Students Association, The CCNY Debate Team, Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, a Cohort 10 member of SEEDS (the Student Empowerment Engagement Development Series), and member of the Role Model program at CCNY and a Spring 2018 initiate of the Lambda Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Fatimah was recently selected as a 2018 Great Grad of CCNY for her outstanding academic performance and campus involvement and was also awarded the 2018 Certificate of Service and the William Hallet Greene Award. Off campus, Fatimah worked as a community ambassador and social media, marketing and services specialist for Nike. She’s also worked as a Track & Field coach for elementary school students in Brooklyn and currently mentors middle school girls in East Harlem. After graduation, Fatimah plans to study for the LSAT and pursue a JD/PhD program.
Adriano Joseph received his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Sociology from the City College of New York in Spring, 2018. He was a stalwart member of the Urban Mentoring and Achievement Network (UMAAN), a BMI program at CCNY, and was a peer mentor to one of the younger UMAAN students. Adriano was born in the Caribbean, US Virgin Islands of St. Croix and moved to New York at the age of six. He came from a single-parent household and was one of five kids. For the first few years that he lived in America, all six shared one room. Seeing how hard his mother worked made him the man he is today: a father of three boys, the older two of which he cared for as a single father. The very hardships that Adriano endured as a young adult and as a father has given him the strength to vigorously best, without hesitation or remorse, any challenge that has presented itself. Although he feels that he is a success just by being a father, he knows that the greatest part of his journey still lies ahead.
Denzil Rodriguez received Bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Anthropology from The City College of New York in Spring, 2018. He works with the CUNY Explorers of CCNY, where he educates middle school students about higher education, and at OTSAR Family Services, where he is a group leader providing an engaging and interactive space for adolescents and young adults who have developmental disabilities. Denzil is a leading member of the Urban Mentoring and Achievement Network (UMAAN) a BMI project at CCNY. He is also a graduate of Queensborough Community College with an associate’s degree in Psychology. While attending QCC, he was president of the Psychology Club and also participated in the eleventh annual honors conference. His mission is to establish a program for his community of Jamaica, NY. He also plans to pursue a PhD in Psychology.
Eric Michael Stewart earned a Bachelor’s degree from The City College of New York in English Literature in the Spring, 2018. After two decades in the field of marketing, he had realized it was time to change direction and to fulfill his dream of becoming an attorney. Eric wanted to be an investigative attorney for the Innocence Project to assist in the exonerations of the wrongfully convicted. At the age of 42, his academic journey began in 2012 when he enrolled in Hostos Community College, majoring in criminal justice. He would later receive an associates degree from Hostos in 2015, graduating second in his class. He would join the seventh cohort of CCNY’s premier pre-law program, Skadden, Arps Honors Program in Legal Studies. He would also join what would become the Urban Mentoring and Achievement Network (UMAAN), a BMI project at CCNY, as a peer mentor. Eric will continue his studies at CCNY in the Humanities department’s Masters in Literature program.
Abdoulaye Diallo received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering with a minor in mathematics from the City College of New York on June 1, 2018. He has been a member of the Urban Mentoring and Achievement Network (UMAAN), a BMI program at CCNY, and was a peer mentor to one of the younger UMAAN students. In February, he was awarded the 2018 BEYA Student Leadership Award in Community Service. He has secured full-time employment with General Motors as an Embedded Control Engineer in their Propulsion Systems Department in Milford, Michigan. Abdoulaye has also been accepted into the Harvard Business School’s deferred enrollment MBA program, otherwise known has the Harvard 2+2 MBA program. Outside of school and his professional interests, Abdoulaye is passionate about youth mentorship and is strong advocate for STEM education.
Growing up in New York City Public Housing in Inwood, Lelia James always had dreams of becoming a lawyer. Thanks to the Pipeline to Justice Program at CUNY School of Law, Lelia is now a Law Graduate (once admitted to the NYS Bar she will be a Staff Attorney) in Manhattan Legal Service’s Inwood Office. Lelia is an advocate for tenants in the community she was raised in. The Inwood Community is one of NYC’s neighborhoods that have fallen victim to gentrification and tenant abuse. In a time of crisis, Lelia is grateful to be helping people in the community she still refers to as home. Before and during her time at CUNY School of Law, Lelia knew she wanted to be an advocate for low-income communities of color. For this reason, she took seminars like the Environmental Justice seminar at CUNY School of Law to help her gain the skills to help low-income communities fight and assert their rights. While in law school, she interned with Legal Aid Society’s Housing Development Unit, Natural Resources Defense Council’s Environmental Justice Unit, and New York Lawyer’s for the Public Interest Environmental Justice Project. In all 3 roles she was able to help tenants keep their apartments, ensure that tenants were environmentally safe in their own homes, fight for clean drinking water in public schools, and work with NYS public school drinking water legislation. Lelia also has a published article in the CUNY Law Review titled: #BlackLivesMatter: Are Police Body Worn Cameras the Solution? In the article, she explores whether police body worn cameras are the solution to police reform. In the article she concludes that although it is a tool, a more institutional change in policing is needed for police reform. Now more than ever, she is ready to use her legal skills to continue being a community based lawyer for low-income communities of color.
Victor Cheng’s family origins are from China. He has lived in New York and attended public schools for almost his entire life. In college, he followed his father’s passion for business by majoring in Marketing and International Business and later worked in business management. After his father suddenly passed away, Victor embarked on a search of purpose, which led him to understand lasting fulfillment can be found in serving others. He looked into his life experience, and found a calling in immigration law. However, returning to school after 14 years proved challenging. Thankfully, the CUNY Pipeline to Justice’s prelaw program mentored and trained Victor on how to do well on the LSAT. Afterwards, he was accepted to CUNY School of Law. At CUNY, he mentored students in the Diversity Mentorship Program, was a member of the Moot Court Team and Agape Christian Fellowship. The Pipeline to Justice Program and the Sorensen Center awarded him fellowships. He has interned at the Lutheran Social Services of New York, the New York Immigration Coalition, and the Immigration Court. After graduation, Victor will be an Immigrant Justice Corp fellow to pursue his calling in immigration law.
Trent Santer is an anti-money laundering consultant at Citibank and a 2016 graduate of CUNY School of Law. At CUNY Law, Trent learned about practicing law in a public policy context focused on balancing the playing field for underserved communities. As a law student, Trent engaged in community lawyering while interning with the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation and helped advocate for worker’s rights while interning with the General Counsel’s office of District Council 37. In his last year of law school, Trent participated in the Community Economic Development clinic at CUNY Law, where he worked with Queens Legal Services and the Volunteer Lawyer for the Day Program to represent low-income tenants in New York City Housing Court facing eviction, harassment, and substandard living conditions. Upon graduating from CUNY School of Law, Trent served as a judicial clerk for the Honorable Neil N. Jasey in the Superior Court of New Jersey. In addition to conducting legal research and writing for Judge Jasey, Trent assisted the Judge in this role by communicating the court’s orders and instructions in a clear and concise manner, and by treating all attorneys and litigants with the same level of dignity and respect. Trent is a member of the New York City Bar Association, Metropolitan Black Bar Association and Aaron’s Beard. Trent holds a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from West Virginia University.
After graduating from Hostos Community College with an associates in accounting, Kamal Walker enrolled in Hunter College where he created his own B.A. in Talkin’ Black: Afrocentric Approaches to Cognition. He is a Grove scholar, student-athlete, former president of the Haitian Drumming Workshop, Hunter Has Heart participant, and recent graduate (B.A. ’18). Kamal is a part of Da Trybe, a non-profit grounded in building community and will be spending a year in Ghana to further that mission. Upon return he will be continuing his education in International Law and Policy.
Raul Franco graduated in May 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a focus in Chemistry from Hunter College. Raul found his roots in BMI Brothers for Excellence in Hunter College during his freshman year which spurred him to strive for more. That same summer he was involved with the Exploring Health Careers Program in SUNY Downstate which motivated him to pursue health care. Raul used the platform of BMI as a spring board to leadership training as he became a team leader for BMI in his sophomore year. Raul was voted into the Undergraduate Student Government of Hunter College, became Vice President of the Psychology Club, and became Secretary of the Honors Psychology Organization, all while taking demanding pre- medical requirements and maintaining a 3.6 GPA. Raul’s interest in psychology lead him to an internship in The Institute of Contemporary Psychotherapy which transitioned into a part-time job during the next year. Raul’s interest in medicine motivated him to volunteer over 100 hours in The Mount Sinai Hospital as an inpatient volunteer throughout the year, and has also allowed him to participate as a Research Associate in the New York Health and Hospital Corporation system. Awards that Raul has received include Dean’s list in Hunter College, The Michael Nisbett Award for Outstanding Leadership in Mentoring, Special Recognition during Hunter College Commencement, and Patient Safety Champion in NYCHHC Metropolitan Hospital.
Raul plans to use his mentoring and teaching interest within medicine as a Family Doctor. After graduation, Raul will be taking a gap year to take the MCAT exam and pursue hospital healthcare experiences before he applies for medical school next spring.
BMI has opened my mind up to opportunities I couldn’t even dream of. I started out my college career chasing basketball, which led me into going to four different colleges in four years. When I arrived to Hunter College, I was introduced to BMI (Black Male Initiative) which helped me navigate and find a supportive community. My two mentors and program leaders, Dr. Marcia Cantarella and Dean John Rose showed me what it means to be successful at life.
Through hard work and perseverance, I was able to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics, meet my college Chancellor, James B. Milliken, and land a position at a leading financial firm, Bloomberg L.P. I Currently work in Financial Analytics at Bloomberg to provide round-the-clock support for Bloomberg Terminal users all over the world and across multiple industries. I interact directly with clients via the ‘Instant Bloomberg’ chat system, answering their questions and conducting trainings. In the future, I plan on becoming a mentor to those in need as Dr. Marcia Cantarella and Dean John Rose were to me.
Jessica Tiburcio is a graduating senior at John Jay College of Criminal Justice with a double major in Economics, B.A. and Philosophy, B.S. As a graduating Ronald H. Brown Law School Preparatory Fellow at St. John’s University School of Law, she is currently decided to attend the University at Buffalo Law School this upcoming 2018 fall semester. Her experiences extend to serving as the Project Associate for the From Punishment to Public Health Initiative and a co-facilitator of the Teen Re-imagining Art, Community and Environment program, a program dedicated to improving New York City’s current academic practices with “at-risk” youth. Her former experiences include interning at the Brooklyn Criminal Supreme Court for the Honorable Judge Joanne Quinones and at the New York State Appellate Division alongside the Honorable Judge Sallie Manzanet-Daniels. As a prospective law school student, Ms. Tiburcio aims at advocating for marginalized groups that seek representation, equity in humanitarian crises, and socioeconomic justice.
Nicole Jeffrey-Williams became connected with BMI through the Ronald H. Brown Law School Prep Program while attending John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Through the guidance offered by these two programs, she received the support that enabled her to further her education. While working towards her Bachelor of Science, she was given the opportunity to intern for the Queens County Civil Supreme Court, The New York State Attorney General’s Office, and the New York County District Attorney’s Office. These experiences have solidified her interest in becoming an attorney. Through CUNY BMI and Ronald H. Brown, Nicole was given the opportunity to become a mentor, enabling her to offer support to other students in her own capacity, just as she has received immense support from the program.
Recently, Nicole graduated Cum Laude from John Jay College with a degree in Criminal Justice Management. She will matriculate to CUNY School of law in the fall of 2018, where she will begin her legal studies.
Magdalena Oropeza is a graduating senior at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY with a double major in Criminology & Latin American and Latina/o Studies. Magdalena is the daughter of Mexican immigrants, who came to this country as unaccompanied minors in search of opportunities their unstable native country could never offer them. Her background led to her desire to serve similarly situated marginalized groups. As an undergraduate student she worked towards gaining a varied array of experiences to pursue social justice advocacy and serve families with a similar disadvantaged background as her own. Her previous experiences include being a CUNY Service Corps Member at the Unaccompanied Latin American Minor Project, a Vera Fellow at Safe Horizon Immigration Law Project, and a Ronald H. Brown Law School Prep Program intern at the Attorney General’s Harlem Regional Office and at the Kings County Supreme Court, Civil Term with the Honorable Judge Francois Rivera. Additionally, she has been a student leader at her undergraduate institution as an ePortfolio Intern with the Student Academic Success Programs at John Jay College. As a graduating Ronald H. Brown Law School Prep Program Fellow, she has been prepared to face the challenges of law school and for the law school application process. Thanks to the guidance provided by the program, Magdalena will be attending Columbia Law School this upcoming Fall 2018 semester.
Sabino Vargas graduated in December 2017 from John Jay College of Criminal Justice with a BA in Philosophy and an honors minor in Latin American and Latina/o Studies after completing his Associates Degree in Criminal Justice at BMCC. Sabino was continuously on the Dean’s list throughout his BMCC and JJC career. He experienced and witnessed grave forms of injustices and inequality which inspired him to become a voice for underrepresented and marginalized people. As an RHB fellow, Sabino interned has internships with Honorable Justice Sallie Manzanet-Daniels while working at the Fordham Law Clinic. Sabino was also a Peer Advocate for the Urban Male Initiative and part of the Prison to College Pipeline at John Jay College. Since completing his degree, Sabino has been working as an Immigrant Navigator for ActionNYC – Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. Sabino participated in the alternative spring break for the Puerto Rico Humanitarian Relief Brigade. Sabino will be attending law school this upcoming Fall 2018 and is interested in pursuing a career in civil rights and public policy.
My name is Tiffany Bowen; I am currently studying for my Associates Degree in Criminal Justice. In the future, I am seeking to study for my Bachelors in Forensic Science at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. From there I’d like to join the Federal Bureau of Investigations to become a forensic scientist. I also would like to broaden my field and become a Crime Scene Investigator. At Kingsborough, I am currently enrolled in the Caribbean Student Association as Treasurer. I joined the Men’s Resource Center in my fall semester of my second year of college. Being a part of the MRC has benefited me in many ways, from allowing me to meet friends that helped create a better college experience to allowing me to have a space where I can complete some homework and study with classmates.
Tobechukwu Asike attended Medgar Evers College preparatory School from 2013-2017 and I heavily credit the school and the people involved with it for my academic success and my overall focus in college. I now have a 3.5 GPA in college and the Men’s Resource Center has a lot to do with my success as well. It’s an environment that makes it easy to ask for help, study, and relax and I’m thankful for being a part of this group of future successes. Outside of college I play basketball and I used to run track and do plan on having a future in both sports later on in the future. I plan to study Business in Sports Management because I want to know more about the business aspect of the sports industry.
My name is Josue Germain and I am currently studying Office Administration and Business management at Kingsborough Community College. My early college experience at Berkley College of Music in Boston taught me many lessons. After transitioning to NYC I’ve had to almost start from scratch to learn how to be responsible and mature.
The Men’s Resource Center gives information but with the information they also illustrate how life really is in the real world. My goals include developing as an artist, businessman and motivation speaker to improve people’s perception of life.
I am inspired to become a social worker and help those with intellectual disabilities. I am passionate about psychology as well. I have a sweet and loving nature, which I believe should help in this field of work. My college professors and mentors have helped me to focus on studying and hard work. After I graduate 2019, I’m applying to Hunter College and Brooklyn College. I first came to the Men’s Resource Center as a work study job. It was Dr. Michael Rodriguez who helped me to improve my work skills and want to understand what’s going on with school and how my classes were going. I’m happy to have the opportunity to become a better student and person
Cesar Tacuri is a first-generation college student procuring a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. Starting his undergrad at LaGuardia Community College back in Fall 2014. After taking a year off after high school Cesar decided to have a fresh start and set the goal of being involved in campus. During his first semester Cesar joined LaGuardia Community College’s BMI program, Black Male Empowerment Cooperative (BMEC). Starting off as just a member, Cesar soon began volunteer at BMEC events and shortly after being a tutor/mentor for first year, returning and transfer students. Cesar is grateful to have been part of LaGuardia’s BMI program and says he owes the program to preparing him for the real world and college readiness. Cesar is currently enrolled in The City college of New York continuing his journey as a civil engineer and continues to take the initiative of getting involved on campus.
Marc Reyes, a 22 year old who enrolled in the BMI Pre- College Program at Medgar Evers College January 2017, went on to achieve his HSE in September 2017. His college enrollment was delayed for fall 2017, so he began his college experience spring 2018. Marc believes that the BMI Program saved his life. Coming from a community that was gang affiliated, and not having role models in the home environment, he became part a product of that negative influence. However, after seeing so many of his friends end up on the wrong side of the tracks or even lost their lives, he decided to change.
The change really came when he registered in the BMI Pre-College Program at Medgar Evers College. The environment was welcoming, they embraced him, and he started to volunteer at the program’s office. He liked what he was doing there and he was eventually placed on payroll. Marc felt it was good to get paid legally doing something that he likes. The others in the program saw him as an important part of the program, and the sense of belonging and inclusion made him feel wanted, and that gave him the physical family he never had.
Although it has been a difficult semester for Marc, he has been trying to adjust. Marc feels the BMI family has kept him grounded because the staff and administrators encouraged him every day. Marc is happy to be a part of the BMI family, and he hopes to eventually graduate with a degree in Social Work.
Emanuel Bontemps is a senior pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Medgar Evers College. As a transfer student Emanuel was solely concerned with graduating, only attending classes then leaving campus immediately after. This quickly changed once introduced to the Male Development & Empowerment Center (MDEC). Through the various activities, MDEC encouraged Emanuel to become more active socially and civically. Through this program, he gained confidence in himself and found a home on campus.
Today Emanuel serves as Vice President of the Student Government Association of Medgar Evers College and has received consecutive Dean’s list awards.
Joel Strothers is a graduating senior majoring in Environmental Science with a minor in Mathematics at Medgar Evers College. While attending the College, Joel has dedicated his time to serve as a tutor and mentor for the Male Development and Empower Center. He credits MDEC for giving him the guidance and encouragement to stay focused on his goals, while allowing him to service students who were without guidance in academic advisement, and helped with personal life hardships.
Joel has received awards for academic excellence by making the dean’s list for spring 2017, honored in 2018 for an Award of outstanding service to the College of Medgar Evers College, the Department of Chemistry and Environmental Service and the Male Development Empower Center.
Kedie Pintro is a junior at Medgar Evers College majoring in biology and minoring in mathematics. Since attending Medgar Evers College she has been very active. She played on the women’s soccer team, participated in student government, been secretary for the math club, joined the science club, tutored and taught math workshops, done research and presentations with various professors, and finally got accepted into an REU at Harvard.
Kedie was initially a mentee and has become a dedicated math tutor and mentor in our program. She credits the Male Development and Empowerment Center for giving her the guidance and encouragement to stay focused on her goals.
This summer she has an opportunity to do research in epidemiology at Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts for five weeks. This program will teach us how to blend math and science for public health.
Najair Richards is graduating from Medgar Evers College with an Associate degree in Science and a Minor in Mathematics. Through his time with MDEC he has grown personally, and academically as a result of the brotherhood, guidance, and mentorship provided by the Male Development and Empowerment Center. Through MDEC he was able to access the necessary resources needed for success as a student. The leadership skills learned, allowed him to be elected as the Sophomore Class Representative and Junior Class Representative of the Student Government Association (SGA). Najair has grown from a mentee to a mentor and will continue his studies in Mechanical Engineering at City College of New.
Marlon Myers is a 23-year-old Afro-Caribbean young man who studied Computer Engineering Technology, at New York City College of Technology. In the beginning of his childhood, he grew up in the slums and ghettos of Kingston Jamaica for the first 13 years of his life. Even though he grew up in an environment surrounded by poverty, through hard work and perseverance, he was able to maintain high scholastic achievements. At the starting line of Marlon’s College experience, due to poor academic advisement, Marlon’s G.P.A went down. After his first year, he was placed on academic probation, not knowing where he fits in. Until one day he was called by the Assistant to the director, of the City Tech Black Male Initiative Program, Ms. Sonia Johnson, and from that day in the semester of Fall 2013, Marlon decided that he did not want to become a statistic; another young black man, to fall through the cracks of the educational system. Through his years of being in the Black Male Initiative program, Marlon has risen to becoming one of the most notable figures on the Campus of City Tech. He began to excel in his academics, gaining the achievement of being on the Honor Roll. He was the President of the Black Male Initiative (BMI) club; a subgroup of the BMI program at City Tech for an approximation of 1 and a half years. In addition, he served on the Student Government Association for 3 years. The first 2 years as a Senator At Large, and his third year as the Vice President of the Student Government body of 17,000+ students. He also became a proud member of the National Society of Black Engineers, National Society of Leadership and Success, and 500 Men Making a Difference. Beyond the idea of simply being a member of 500 Men Making a Difference, he serves as their Director of Collegiate Engagement. He is also the youngest ever recipient of their “Man of the Year Award.” Throughout his academic studies at City Tech, Marlon single handedly designed, built, and programmed, from scratch, a Quadcopter Drone using an Arduino Uno. His dedication to the improvement of his community, exemplifies true leadership.
Marlon Graduated with an Associates in Electro-Mechanical Engineering Technology, a bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering Technology. He is also in near completion of both a degree in “Liberal Arts and Science”, and a Liberal Arts and Arts.”
Marlon uses the stories of his experience to Encourage and Mentor his fellow peers and/or anyone in need of advice. He does this so that they too can learn that no matter how many times you fall, always get back up, brush yourself off and try harder. Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” – Confucius
In this life, you walk the path of trial and tribulations. It is a journey that prepares you for the hardships to come; it breaks you, but molds you; it destroys you, yet grows you; it builds character and helps shape you to be what you were meant to be. It is these words that shaped Joel Chapman, now a graduate of Bachelors of Science in Applied Mathematics, to what he is now. Growing up was not always easy as Joel did not have all the resources, especially financially, to help him through life. A lot of battles and hurdles came every now and then, but the only thing that Joel knew how to do was press on. It is an ability that he forged after coming to a breaking point in one of his toughest battles. To be precise, it was one of those moments when he fought one of his biggest battles, it drove him to a wall mentally, and in the end, and he could do nothing but just sit and laugh at it all. Did you know that even though storms create destruction along your path, it can also clear your path? Joel sure did not know this until his fateful encounter with Dr. Janet Liou-Mark, a professor in Mathematics, and a major turning point in Joel’s life.
Through Professor Liou-Mark, Joel was able to begin doing things he never imagined that he could do now. He initially joined one of the Professor’s program known as Peer-Lead Team Learning – in short, a team put together to help facilitate students in different mathematic courses. Not too long afterwards, Joel was introduced to Dr. Reginald Blake, the head of City Tech’s Black Male Initiative (BMI) Program. He requested that Joel join the program, and he did the very same day. Through BMI and Peer Leading, Joel was able to work on his communication and presentation skills by volunteering to speak at various on-campus and off-campus presentations and workshops. Also, due to the fact that he became a math tutor in more than 3 courses, he was able to build my teaching skills and also get familiarized with speaking to people as he was (and still a bit) heavily introverted.
The BMI Program has basically worked wonders for Joel. Once again, through Dr. Blake and Professor Liou-Mark, Joel was able to become a National Science Foundation Intern and worked at New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection. He is still currently working there and is now pursuing an offered full-time position there. Joel is basically grateful for all the efforts that BMI, Peer Leading, God, and everyone along the way put into him. Without them, he would not be where he is today, but life has a way of working out for the fortunate.
Jawad Rashid came to New York City College of Technology, (City Tech) in Fall 2103 and joined the City Tech BMI Program. While at City Tech, he decided to pursue the CUNY BA with an interest in medicine and human services. He is graduating with an area of concentration in Vulnerable Populations under the mentorship of Justine Pawlukewicz of NYC College of Technology. With his near perfect grade point average and his extensive volunteer activities at several NYC hospitals, clinics, and community organizations, he is well on his way to fulfilling his goal of becoming a neurosurgeon. His hard work, dedication and commitment earned him several CUNY BA Scholarships, including the Thomas W. Smith Academic Fellowship. In 2017, he was awarded a U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship for summer study abroad in the Republic of Moldova, where he will be returning as a 2018 Fulbright Scholar.
Nigel J. Franklyn first joined the City Tech Black Male Initiative family in Fall 2015 after transferring from Barbados Community College where he received his associates in Electrical Engineering. Over the three years there, he has had the opportunity to conduct geoscience research through the IUSE (Improving Undergraduate STEM Education) program funded by NSF (National Science Foundation), this research, “Cloud optical depth using a Mini Micro pulsed LiDAR” afforded him a NASA travel grant that took him to Bucharest, Romania to present at the ILRC (International Laser and Radar Conference) 2017. Nigel served as City Tech’s BMI club president for 2017 -2018 where he and his team aimed to have the BMI club be well rounded not only academically but socially, mentally and emotionally. Through various workshops and invited guess ranging from financial advisors, government officials and US army veterans, the BMI club ran with the quote “Each one, teach one” at its core under his presidency. When not mentoring or managing the club, Nigel tutored English courses. Outside of his academics, Nigel is also a part of the nonprofit community organization named 500 Men Making a difference, where he was awarded the “Man of the Year” award for 2018 for his unwavering dedication to service and his community.
Nigel will be graduating with his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Technology, with hopes of attended the City College of New York to pursue a Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering with a concentration in Photonics. Ultimately he intends to become a scientist in the research and development sector of NOAA Crest.
Serifat Adebola would be graduating this Spring 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Informatics from New York City College of Technology. Serifat is a peer leader in Biology and Chemistry where she conducts General Biology, General Chemistry workshops. She is also a member of Honors Scholars Program, National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS), National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS), Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Program, and the Black Male Initiative (BMI) Program. Serifat was a scholar of the Leadership Alliance Program at Columbia University where she conducted research on “The Effect of Temperature on Polio Virus Genetic Diversity”. Serifat has also shown great leadership skills on campus as she served as the president of the Minority Association of Pre-health Students City Tech chapter and the treasurer for the Chemistry club.
Her plan for the future is to further her studies in graduate school as she pursues the MD-PHD track to become a physician scientist focused on the field of genetics.
Victor O. Adedara graduated June 2018 from New York City College of Technology with a bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Informatics. Victor is a member of many prestigious academic programs such as NSLS, NSCS, L-SAMP, BMI, C-STEP and Honors Scholar’s program. He has been in several research programs since his freshman year in areas such as biology and chemistry. He received several awards for his achievements both in academics and research projects. Victor attended several conferences and successfully presented his various research. He was an NSF scholarship recipient and had the opportunity to participate in the study abroad program in Cartagena, Colombia. Victor constantly participated in school activities for four years. He was the President of Chemistry and Biomedical Informatics Club for four years. Victor is a dedicated student who is interested in applying the knowledge he received in school to pursue a career where he can be of help to his community. Victor contributed tremendously to his community as he served as a comfort specialist to one of his favorite hospital, Coney Island for two years. He served as a CUNY Health Ambassador for one year for the community and CUNY schools. He was a NOYCE scholar for four years serving as a tutor and advisor in computer science to East New York Middle School of Excellence and PTECH students. Victor intends to pursue a master’s, then eventually a Ph.D. in biomedical informatics. His hopes and aspiration is to use his knowledge in bioinformatics and computer science to confront challenges in biomedical research and contribute to better understanding and development of the field.
Bryant Burgos graduated from Queens College in the Fall of 2017, earning the Magna Cum Laude honor along with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theater and Media Studies. Bryant was the recipient of the “Honors in Drama, Theatre and Dance” award along with the 2017’s SEEK “Community Service Award,“ and served as a mentor for Project ExCEL for two years. His participation in the latter allowed him to apply and be accepted in the 2018 Future Now Conference as one of the top 40 Future Now leaders.
Joseph Hill is graduating Magna Cum Laude with an interdisciplinary degree in Classical Performing Arts and Business Management of Performing Arts. Joseph has served as Lead Ambassador of Vote Everywhere for the Andrew Goodman Foundation, and as volunteer Artist with Sing for Hope. Joseph is also a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society and was a member of the 2017-2018 cohort for CUNY Service Corps, where he served as a Program Assistant at Baruch College for the Office of Collaborative Programs, and College Now utilizing Applied Theatre with high school student to discuss potential impediments and apprehension they have about transitioning to college. Recognizing that he would need his own support system for college, Hill has been active in CUNY BMI: Project ExCEL as the Networking and Recruiting Aide. “Jorge Alguera, the director, has created a family environment, and the program overall is has provided support, encouragement, and guidance to myself and all of the participants” he says.
Krista Benitez is graduating CUNY Queens College with Summa Cum Laude honors as well as High Honors in each one of her majors, Accounting, Economics, and Comparative Literature. Starting in July, she will start full time with Bank of America as an Operations Analyst working on the prime brokerage margins team. While in college, CUNY BMI – Project ExCEL played a vital role in inspiring her, supporting her, and pushing her to exceed the boundaries she placed on herself. Initially joining the program as a self- described “shy insecure freshman,” the mentorship and community provided through CUNY BMI gave her the necessary guidance and confidence she needed to test her abilities and push the envelope of success. “Joining the CUNY BMI – Project ExCEL, was one of the most influential decisions I made in her college career and radically transformed the way I approached education and shaped my goals.” She says. “Without CUNY BMI – Project ExCEL, graduating a triple major with high honors and a full time job immediately following graduation would have never been a possibility.”
Felicia Drepaul is graduating Queens College with a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology and minor in Peer Counseling. “There were times were it didn’t seem possible, sleepless nights, crying over classes because the work was hard, summer and winter sacrifices but I made it possible.” She says. “The fact that I was able to achieve this major accomplishment shows that I can do anything I set my mind too.” She receives her degree from Queens College having served in CUNY Service Corps and as Queens College Peer Counselor, a CUNY BMI – Project ExCEL Mentor, SEEK Student, Chi Alpha Epsilon inductee and National Society of Leadership and Success inductee. She is also the first person in her family to graduate college. “Being a Project Excel Mentor has allowed me to expand my horizon for opportunities and possibilities. Project Excel has given me the guidance and support I needed to reach my full potential. Being a mentor has helped me learn about myself and my fellow peers and has given me the chance to help students who were once in my shoes. Because of the support of Project Excel I have become more of the professional I want to be. “Thank you for all of your help Project ExCEL!”
Andrew Hillman served as a mentor for Queens College’s Project ExCEL of the CUNY Black Male Initiative Program in the Fall 2009 and Spring 2010 semesters and served as the President of Minority Association of Pre-medical Students (MAPS) for two years. Andrew graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Family Nutrition and Exercise Sciences and a Minor in Chemistry. Through his involvement in the Minority Access to Research Careers Program, Travelers Summer Research Fellowship, and international Multidisciplinary International Research Training Program Andrew was able to fortify his academic knowledge and build his resume all while studying for the MCAT. Today we SALUTE Dr. Andrew Hillman, as he graduates from the Weill Cornell School of Medicine. During the challenges of medical school, Andrew sustained his service to others and was an exemplary Queens College alumnus who continued to follow his alma mater’s motto, “We Learn So We May Serve,” by mentoring young people. Andrew served as the Director of the Weill Cornell Youth Scholars Program, which is a four-week medical enrichment program geared towards sparking an interest in medicine and science in underrepresented and underprivileged high school students in New York. If this wasn’t enough, Dr. Hillman is continuing his education in the Cornell University Accelerated M.B.A program. He attributes part of his drive to having a strong passion for mentorship and find that the more he mentor others, the harder he works in other facets of his life. Says Andrew, “How can you truly mentor others if you do not have your stuff together?”
Jarrett Williams M.D. graduated the Sophie Davis Biomedical Education accelerated B.S. /M.D. Program, at the CUNY School of Medicine with a Bachelor of Science degree in 2015. He was raised in a single parent household moving between Jamaica, Queens, and Valley Stream, New York. His mother strongly encouraged higher education and personal advancement. His personal health issues and Mother’s encouragement laid way to his aspiration of becoming a doctor. As a Sophie Davis student he obtained the highest honor of receiving the Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence. This was a historic achievement as he was the first black male valedictorian of the Sophie Davis Program.
Dr. Williams’s philanthropic nature pushed him to serve the younger students in the Sophie Davis program during his time there. He was a tutor in Human Physiology, General Chemistry, Physics, and in the Sophie Davis Summer Pre-Matriculation program. His interest in pursuing research opportunities enabled him to find work under neuroscientist John Martin PhD. and Najet Serradj PhD. He also participated in research with the Sophie Davis Department of Community and Social Medicine. His research interests followed him into his last two years of medical school as he was a research volunteer at the New York University Langone Medical Center. There he performed research in the orthopedic surgery department. Dr. Williams is a strong believer that pride and arrogance are immediate paths to failure. He cites feedback from others and personal reflection as two tools used for both his professional and personal achievement. Dr. Williams will start his residency in Emergency Medicine during the Summer of 2018 at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital.
Daniel Asemota M.D. graduated the Sophie Davis Biomedical Education accelerated B.S. /M.D. Program, at the CUNY School of Medicine with a Bachelor of Science degree in 2014. During his time in the Sophie Davis Program he served as an elected official in the Student National Medical Association and Student Government. As a charitable member of the Sophie Davis student body, he volunteered as a Teaching Assistant in the Sophie Davis Community Health and Social Medicine Department. He also served as a tutor at the Sophie Davis Learning Resource Center. He was a recipient of the Colin Powell Fellowship for Leadership and Public Service.
As an intern with the Alliance for Lupus Research, he developed a research database. His next internship was with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene: Shop Healthy NY. There he participated in the Health Research Training Program, and the Preventative Health Residency Program. He also interned with the Urban Yoga Foundation of New York and effectively promoted healthy lifestyle choices through daily seminars focusing on hygiene, diet, and exercise.
His work as a research assistant includes City College of New York Biology Department of Biology, the Alliance for Lupus Organization and the Sports Division: Department of Orthopedic Surgery Hospital for Joint Diseases at the NYU Lagone Medical Center. He received his Master of Business Administration from The Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University along with his Doctor of Medicine from New York University in 2018. Dr. Asemota will start his Internal Medicine residency at No1thwell Health in the Summer of 2018.
Anthony Okolo, M.D. graduated the Sophie Davis Biomedical Education accelerated B.S. /M.D. Program, at the CUNY School of Medicine with a Bachelor of Science degree in 2015. During his time at Sophie Davis, he was active in student government as a Class Representative, Vice President and ultimately as President. He was also passionate about the importance of Primary Care and served as a founder and leader of both the Family Medicine Interest Group and the Primary Care Progress chapter. As a Colin Powell Fellow, he worked with the New York City Department of Health to promote policies geared towards healthy living for West Harlem Residents. Upon entering Albany Medical College, Dr. Okolo joined the national team for Primary Care Progress, and in that capacity served as a national trainer for students in various institutions where he promoted Primary Care. He also continued to serve as a Class Representative and ultimately selected by his peers to the Gold Humanism Honor Society.
He received his Doctor of Medicine from Albany Medical College in 2018, and will start his residency in Family & Social Medicine at Montefiore Medical Center in the Summer of 2018. He plans to continue his passion for Primary Care by serving at the National Health Service Corporation.