Wednesday, June 12, 2013 (Bronx, NY) – Lao-Tzu said, “The journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.”The celebratory completion ceremonies for CUNY Start and CLIP on May 14 and May 31, respectively, embodied the spirit of this well-known adage.

Angela Rios, Director of the Student Success Coaching Unit, coordinated these events in collaboration with Fatiha Makloufi, Director of the CLIP and CUNY Start programs, and her staff. The intent was to acknowledge and reward the 185 students who had completed their first CUNY Start semester and those who will begin their studies at Hostos this fall after completing CLIP. “It is very important that we let these students know they are special, and that their work and achievements do not go unnoticed,” Makloufi said.

The CUNY Start and CLIP ceremonies included student speakers, each of whom shared that they began their journey with feelings of uncertainly, but  completing these programs had strengthen their resolve to study, learn, and pursue their dreams. Emmanuel Delgado and Catherine Torres from CUNY Start and Astrid Justiniano, Daianne Ortíz, and Jheyson Montero from CLIP all exemplified the spirit of courage and determination when they stood up to relate their experiences. The captivated crowd cheered when they declared that their journey had just begun.

Nathaniel Cruz, Vice President of Student Development and Enrollment Management, assured the students that their dream for a college education was coming true and this ceremony marked its beginning.

Astrid Justiniano, who passed her reading and writing CUNY tests after having completed CLIP, won first prize in the Charles Braver Essay Contest for “The Lost and Found Dream.” In it, she relates that after many years of struggle and self-doubt, she finally came to understand that she could be a writer. At the ceremony Astrid said, “It was CLIP that made me aware of my strength and potential. Thank you to all my professors and the coaches who stood by our sides; because of them, we are here today.”

Dr. Carlos Molina, Vice President of Workforce Development and Continuing Education, said that he felt pride in seeing these students climb the mountaintop, and reminded them that they had taken their first step toward earning a degree.

CUNY Start and CLIP wish to thank the following: University Directors Mia Simon and  Dr. Leslee Oppenheim; VP of Workforce Development and Continuing Education, Carlos Molina; VP of Student Development and Enrollment Management, Nathaniel Cruz; Executive Assistant to VP Nathaniel Cruz, Lillian Morales; Angela Rios, Success Coach Unit Director; Success Coaches José Ramos and Frances Plata; Program Coordinator, CUNY Start, Jessica Mingus; CLIP Senior Instructors Laura Kleeman and Daniel Casey; CLIP Academic Advisor and Instructional Technology Instructor, Rosemary Jiménez; CLIP Instructor, Vanita Naidoo; and the other members of the CLIP and CUNY START staff and faculty.

About Hostos Community College
Eugenio María de Hostos Community College, part of The City University of New York (CUNY) system, was founded in 1968.  In addition to associate degree programs that facilitate easy transfer to CUNY’s four-year colleges or baccalaureate studies at other institutions, Hostos also has an award-winning Division of Continuing Education and Workforce Development that offers courses for professional development and certificate-bearing workforce training programs. In four decades, Hostos has grown from a class of 623 in the fall of 1970, to over 7,000 students in the spring of 2012. The College also serves an additional 12,000 students through its Division of Continuing Education and Workforce Development. For more news and stories about Hostos Community College, visit