April 2, 2012 (Bronx, NY) – As part of Hostos Community College Women’s History Month celebration, the Institutional Advancement Division’ Alumni Relations Office held a moving scholarship celebration at the College’s A- Atrium on Thursday, March 29, 2012.
The event recognized four outstanding students for their exemplary academic accomplishment and civic promise: Stephanie Argüello, Anaiz Flores, Jizelle Cora and Ironely Guzmán Terrero. Three of the students received a $500 Josephine Aguado scholarship award and one student received a $500 scholarship from an anonymous donor. The Josephine Aguado Scholarship fund was created by William Aguado, member of the Hostos Foundation’s Board and longtime Executive Director of the Bronx Council on the Arts, in honor of his mother Josephine.
Tiffany Bailey, Employer Coordinator at Hostos, served as the event’s mistress of ceremonies and her opening remarks reminded the attendees that this year’s Women History Month theme was women’s education and empowerment.
Nothing befitted the reception and the theme of Women’s History Month more than a surprise appearance by Bronx based and poetry-slam artist Caridad de la Cruz “La Bruja” who read several poems including “Mi Madre” and “S.P.I.C.,” a poignant poem that transformed the derogatory term into a powerful and positive acronym.
Following “La Bruja’s” performance, the Institutional Advancement Division Vice President Ana M. Carrión-Silva, proceeded to hand the scholarship to the recipients and indicated, “I feel honored to be here today and to be given the opportunity to present these amazing young women with this well-deserved award. You will always have a family at Hostos and we look forward to seeing the great things you will accomplish.”
Visibly moved by the warm reception and gratitude showed by the recipients, Bill Aguado reminded the attendees that, “I created this award in honor of my mother but most importantly as a way to celebrate the women of this community and the power of women who, if it weren’t for this college, might not have the opportunity to receive an education. Hostos is a place that has many shining stars and I want to make sure I do all I can to support them.”
Closing the Josephine Aguado Scholarship reception was Hostos alumnae Valerie Simpson, Valedictorian of the Class of 2003, who sang one of Bob Marley’s anthems, “Redemption Song.” Simpson’s voice shone, reminding us that Hostos is a place of love, academic attainment and where students are valued for their individual expression.
About the Winners of the Josephine Aguado Scholarship
Stephanie Argüello was raised in El Salvador but was born in Texas and knew that one day she would return to the United States. At the age of 17 she realized that goal and landed in New York City. Her first few months in the City were quite difficult. She spoke very little English, got lost easily, struggled financially, and missed her family terribly. Determined to overcome these obstacles, Stephanie enrolled in English language courses and went on to earn her GED. Though she worked two jobs in order to make ends meet, she was determined to pursue her education and build a life for herself in the country of her birth. During Stephanie’s first semester at the College, she was invited to join the Hostos Caiman Women's Basketball Team. Through basketball, she found that she was becoming part of a new family. Stephanie’s ever-increasing proficiency in the English language, the supportive camaraderie of her team, and her newfound confidence led her to explore opportunities for growth at Hostos. In addition to volunteering her time to community service, Stephanie is a member of Phi Theta Kappa as well as The Hostos Leadership Academy.
Anaiz Flores is one of seven siblings and a native New Yorker of Mexican descent, Anaiz and her family struggled just to make ends meet. Pursuing an education seemed infeasible, yet still she aspired to become a teacher one day. Giving birth to her first child shortly after graduating from high school, being laid off from the local pharmacy due to the economic downturn, and finding herself in hard times, Anaiz decided it was time to break the cycle and make a change. The proximity of Hostos to her home, coupled with the financial assistance it offered, presented a once in a lifetime opportunity. Now a happily married mother of two daughters, Anaiz is now in her fourth semester of the Early Childhood Program at the College. She is also a Phi Theta Kappa member, has served as the Vice President of the Student Health Club, and is currently the Vice President of Teachers of the Future. She looks forward to continuing her studies at a senior college.
Jizelle Cora was born in 1985 in New York City, New York and currently resides in the Throggs Neck Section of the Bronx. At the age of seventeen, Jizelle move to Florida to live with a friend and then at the age of nineteen, Jizelle had to make some tough choices in her life; she had to leave school and she started her own landscaping business in Florida to make some money to support herself during her first pregnancy. Her first child, Karma was born 11/26/2005 and Asia, her second child was born 6/3/2007. She was excited to have her third child, Fernando, a boy on 3/12/2009. Throughout all of her pregnancies, Jizelle worked to make money and to support her children. She was not certain that she would ever return to school. Eventually, Jizelle felt she had to return to New York, because the housing and job markets in Florida were no longer thriving. In the summer of 2010, Jizelle returned to New York and began living with her mother. She also set a goal for herself of returning to school and getting her education. Jizelle got her GED in the summer of 2011 and started taking classes at Hostos in the fall. She is majoring in LPN Nursing and has a desire to save lives. She also wants to get her RN License as well. She is also a part of the COPE Program. She is currently a member of the Hostos Emerging Leaders Program.
Ironely Guzman Terrero was born in 1987 in the Dominican Republic and came to the United States in 2005 to be with her family. She started her Hostos career in 2006 in the CUNY Language Emersion Program for one semester and then she left school to take care of her newborn child. She returned to study at Hostos in 2009, majoring first in Liberal Arts and is currently enrolled in the Nursing Program. Ironely is the mother of a five year old son, Raylin Guzman and she works twenty-four to thirty-six hours a week as a Home Health Aide in Manhattan. She is also a Senator in the Hostos Student Government Association, working to improve the lives of her fellow students.
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 Professional Studies 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 the spring 2012 enrollment of over 7,000 students. The college also serves an additional 10,000 students through its Division of Continuing Education and Professional Studies. For more news and stories about Hostos Community College, visit www.hostos.cuny.edu.
Ana M. Carrión - firstname.lastname@example.org
Soldanela Rivera - email@example.com
Phone: 718-518-6872 or 917-627-9097
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