Eric Stewart
Thanks to a wonderful collaboration between Hostos faculty, The City College of New York, and one of New York City’s most respected law firms, four former Hostos students, Eric Stewart, Avery Toledo, Michael Cruz, and Lizette Carter, have been accepted into the prestigious Skadden Arps Legal Studies Honors Program.

Funded by the preeminent international firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, and administered through City College, the program provides merit scholarships, mentoring opportunities, a summer internship with stipend at a law firm or LEGAL services non-profit, a legal studies curriculum designed to complement a wide range of majors, plus Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) preparation and tutoring.
Stewart, 45, is the most recent Hostos graduate who is entering the program. The New York City native graduated Hostos in February 2015 with an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice.

After winning an Award for Excellence from the Hostos English Department and having his work published in n the bilingual journal of student art and writing, ¡Escriba!, the 2014 Dean’s List student pursued his other passion and is now studying creative writing at The City University of New York. He plans to apply to either the CUNY School of Law or Brooklyn Law School after earning his bachelor’s degree.

Always looking to give back, the aspiring prosecutor also earned a CUNY Service Award in 2014. The former member of Hostos’ Social Justice Club is excited about the opportunities the Skadden Arps Legal Studies Honor Program will provide.

“It truly is a wonderful program,” Stewart said. “It will give me great insight to the field of law and also help to secure internships, and free classes at CCNY. I am very grateful for the help I received while applying for this.”

Each semester, this honors program visits the Hostos campus and provides a program overview and a workshop in writing personal statements open to the college at the invitation of the Public Administration Unit and the ASAP program. Due to the guidance of the Public Administration Unit faculty, and in particular Professor Amy Ramson and Professor Howard Jordan’s advisement, mentoring, recommendation letters and encouragement, the four students were accepted.

“Each class of Skadden scholars numbers between 20-25 students, so it is noteworthy that so many Hostos students have successfully met the acceptance criteria which is determined through a lengthy application, testing, and rigorous interviews with attorneys from the law firm,” Professor Ramson said. “Even after graduation, these and other students continue to rely on Public Administration faculty for guidance, internship site placements and employment opportunities.”

Professor Ramson has been key in bringing the program to campus and arranging the personal statement workshop. She has mentored and guided all the Skadden scholars and has written recommendation letters for two of them, one of whom she continues to assist with internship opportunities. Professor Jordan has been instrumental in one student's trajectory from Hostos student to law school. Professor Nelson Torres also wrote a recommendation letter for one student and had been a support to him.

The CCNY Skadden Arps Honors Program was launched in 2009 and aims to address the fact that, historically, African-Americans and other minority groups have been underrepresented in the legal profession.

More about the scholars:

Avery Toledo
Avery Toledo is a transfer student from Hostos Community College. At Hostos, he was Vice President and Founder of the Criminal Justice club, a member of Phi Theta Kappa and the Dean’s List, a mentor for Community Service Sentencing Project and a student ambassador. Avery is on the Board of Governors of Shriners Hospital for Children – Philadelphia, and serves as an Associate Member, volunteering his time to help sick and disabled children.
Michael Cruz
Michael Cruz transferred to CCNY last fall after graduating from Hostos Community College.  There, he was the student government Vice President of Academic Affairs and the Chair of the Student Senate.  He also participated in the Model New York State Senate and the Model United Nations.  At CCNY, Michael is majoring in political science and international studies with a concentration on international relations.  In 2012, as part of CCNY’s InteRDom service-learning program, Michael worked in the Dominican Republic on an urban-farming initiative.  To fulfill the program’s research requirement, he studied the country’s gender roles.  At CCNY, he is a delegate in the University Student Senate, where he serves as chair of the LGBT Task Force.  Michael is a recipient of the Colin L. Powell Partners for Change Fellowship in international development.

Lizette Carter
Lizette Carter, a Queens native, graduated from Hostos Community College and is now majoring in philosophy at CCNY. While earning her A.A.S. degree she was inducted into Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, interned at a private law office and regularly volunteered for CUNY Citizenship Now!, where she assisted immigrants with hopes of becoming U.S. citizens. As an aspiring attorney, she is passionate about helping others and looks forward to giving back to her community one day.

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.