Herve Fossou moved to New York City in 2010, wanting to see what kind of life he could build in the United States. Now, the 40-year-old, who emigrated from the Ivory Coast in West Africa, is busy building a better and healthier world for those around him.
Fossou graduated from Hostos on June 4 with an Associate Degree in Community Health. But thanks to his drive and determination to make the world a healthier place, he is starting his career early after being accepted to the Health and Research Training Program from the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. This paid summer internship is coveted not only by New York City students but from students all over the world. 
Also the former President of the Hostos Community Health Club, Fossou said he is excited to get started with his internship, where he will be researching lead poisoning.
“This internship is very important for me because it is one part of my plan. As community health interns, we aim to educate the people about various health-related issues,” Fossou said. “I will also have the opportunity to network with students from around the world, learn from other cultures, and improve on the skills that I acquired at Hostos.”
Fossou was not only selected for his work in the classroom but for his leadership potential, enthusiasm, and commitment for public health. He is particularly interested in the field of biostatistics, which encompasses the design of biological experiments, especially in medicine, pharmacy, and agriculture.
He has already been accepted to Lehman College and will begin working toward his bachelor’s degree in the fall. His ultimate goal is earning a master’s degree in biostatistics.
For now, Fossou will be busy as an intern with the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, creating flyers, attending conferences, and raising awareness about lead poisoning.
Fossou credits the dedicated professors at Hostos, as well as the Career Services Office, for getting him this far in his international educational journey.
“I was really impressed with the attention my professors gave me. People like Health Professor Vasquez Elys-Iscan, who pushed me and helped me to apply for the internship. I also received support from other professors, including Iris Mercado and Karen Winkler. So many good people at Hostos had a hand in my success.”

About Hostos Community College
Eugenio María de Hostos Community College is an educational agent for change that has been transforming and improving the quality of life in the South Bronx and neighboring communities since 1968. It serves as a gateway to intellectual growth and socioeconomic mobility, as well as a point of departure for lifelong learning, success in professional careers, and transfer to advanced higher education programs. The College’s unique "Student Success Coaching Unit" provides students with individualized guidance and exemplifies its emphasis on student support services. 

Recently named one of the top 10 finalists for the 2015 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, Hostos offers 27 associate degree programs and two certificate programs that facilitate easy transfer to The City University of New York’s (CUNY) four-year colleges or baccalaureate studies at other institutions. The College has an award-winning Division of Continuing Education & Workforce Development that offers professional development courses and certificate-bearing workforce training programs. Hostos is part of CUNY, the nation’s leading urban public university, which serves more than 500,000 students at 24 colleges.