Speaker Adela M. De Bastidas. Graduates. Caps and Gowns
Hostos Community College celebrated dedication and determination on June 5 when it saluted 120 students who earned their High School Equivalency (HSE) diplomas in 2014 and 2015 during an inspirational event.

Perhaps no one displayed more resolve than Adela M. De Bastidas, who at 72 is one of the oldest graduates of the Adult Learning Center. De Bastidas spend close to eight years pursuing her goal, and earned her diploma in Spanish from the HSE program, which has been offered at Hostos for 14 years.

Celebrating with the students, their family and friends was Hostos Interim President David Gómez, who urged the graduates to continue their studies, no matter the subject.

“In five years, 10 years, or 20 years from now, you may very well have a job that does not yet exist. How do you prepare for such a job? Through continuing education,” Gómez said.
two men hug. Graduates. Caps and Gowns.
Another Adult Learning Center success story is Lovell Simpson, a single mother who worked tirelessly for several years to attain her diploma. She said it was her desire to build a better future for her children that fueled her passion to succeed.

Vice President of Continuing Education & Workforce Development, Carlos Molina, told the graduates to be thankful for the support they received on their journey.

“Success requires a team,” Molina said.  “You and I are lucky enough to have benefitted from having a team here at Hostos. Nobody does it alone.”

Darryl Rogers, Senior Program Coordinator for the Adult Learning Center, was also on hand to congratulate the graduates and urge them to continue forward.

“Sometimes we need support and encouragement,” Rogers said. “Sometimes we need to figure out what went wrong. And sometimes we just need to grit our teeth, pull ourselves up by the bootstraps, and soldier onward.”

Abubar Kromah, a graduate of Hostos’ Young Men’s Initiative Program (YMI), told the large crowd that it took him a little while to realize that doing things “his own way” was not always the best way. After taking and failing the exam twice, he decided to enroll in the YMI in Spring 2013 for assistance. The program gave him the tools and the confidence to finally pass the exam. In October 2014, he received his HSE diploma and went on to complete his first semester taking Hostos college courses and posting a 2.75 GPA.

“I was ready to apply the knowledge and skills that I learned from the YMI program to answer every question on the HSE exam with confidence,” Kromah said. “Unlike the other two times, I wasn’t hoping to pass the exam. This time was different. I knew that I was going to pass.”

For more information about the HSE Program at Hostos go to www.hostos.cuny.edu/Continuing-Ed or contact Sheryl Smith, Director at the Adult Learning Center at 718.664.2542.

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.