Ashlee Bustamente
Liberal Arts and Science
Hostos Student Ambassador
Phi Theta Kappa Member

Ashlee BustamenteAshlee was born in New York City, New York in October of 1990 and raised in the Williamsbridge section of the Bronx, where she has lived for all of her life. Ashlee attended private parochial schools in the Bronx, where she studied religion and all traditional subject areas. She studied first at the Immaculate Conception School from the Kindergarten to the eighth grade and then attended Saint Barnabas High School, an all-girls school during her high school years. Ashlee was born to an African-American mother and a her father is half Dominican and half Puerto Rican. Her parents are lifetime residents of New York City and Ashlee loves New York because of their influence and because New York City is at the heart of who she is and sees herself as being. Ashlee is the oldest of two and her brother is currently studying in the Bronx.

After High School, Ashlee decided that she wanted to study at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, but when she arrived on their campus, she felt a bit disconnected and yearned for an educational setting that did not seem so overwhelming. She elected to not attend BMCC and instead found her way to the Summer Youth Employment Program, where she was selected to work at the Mind-Builders Creative Arts Center, which is located in the Bronx. She studied and performed with other teenagers in the Positive Youth Troupe to audiences around New York State, from the Bronx to Syracuse and all the places in between. The group’s mission was to participate in scripted performances, utilized to highlight and open up Ashlee Bustamentediscussions of the common issues facing teens in the communities that they performed in, such as teen pregnancy, bullying, self-esteem issues, etc. Ashlee was a member of this group for two years and still maintains ties with the people she worked with in that group. Ashlee also took part in the Folk Culture Program, (which is also a part of Mind Builders) which afforded her the opportunity to perform at the Smithsonian Institution Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C. for one week. Ashlee and five other students performed on the National Mall traditional folklore activities; from games to storytelling and nursery rhymes.

Ashlee found her way to Hostos Community College in the fall of 2009, when she finally realized that there was a school that could accommodate her need for a homey communal atmosphere. She decided to study Liberal Arts and Science and had a unique opportunity to study with two talented educators; Professor Angel Morales (a theatrical director) in his Introduction to Theatre class and Professor Thelma Ithier-Sterling (an opera singer) in her Public Speaking Class. Both of these experiences allowed for Ashlee to feel more connected to the college environment and gave her the drive and determination to become more involved in student life at Hostos Community College.

Ashlee BustamenteIn the fall of 2010, Ashlee joined to Hostos Student Leadership Academy’s Student Ambassador Program. Since that time she has been actively engaged in activities to give back to the community and help to improve the lives of her fellow Hostos Students. Amongst the many opportunities that Ashlee has been involved in are the Planting Trees at Franz Siegel Park on 153rd Street and the Grand Concourse, bringing sunshine to the lives of seniors at Isabella Geriatric Facility in Washington Heights, feeding the hungry at Part of the Solution (POTS) Soup Kitchen off of Fordham Road, reading to children at the Robert F. Kennedy Holiday Party in Bed-Stuy, Mural Painting in Sunset Park, Brooklyn with the Groundswell Organization and volunteering on the 9-11 National Day of Service with New York Cares and The Mission Continues and on the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Day of Service at the James Weldon Johnson School in Harlem as a part of United We Serve.

Ashlee has also attended several Leadership Conferences over the past year and a half. She attended the Somos El Futuro Conference in Albany, New York, the LaGuardia Ashlee BustamenteCommunity College Leadership Conference and The Millennium Campus Conference at Harvard University, where she had the chance to engage with hundreds of students from all over the world to discuss the 2012 United Nations Millennium Goals.

Ashlee is also a member of Phi Theta Kappa National Honors Society and is an executive officer in the Civil Rights Club. She is the winner of the 2011 Puerto Rican Day Parade Scholarship and the Hostos Leadership Academy Non-Traditional Leader Award for 2011. Ashlee served as the Monthly Leadership Forum Chair from fall 2010 to spring 2011. She is currently on the Dean’s List with a GPA of 3.689 and is one of two students from Hostos Community College to serve in the Ernesto Malave Leadership Academy’s CUNY Corps Program.

Ashlee hopes to study Psychology at Columbia University and become a Mental Health Practitioner.