Kayce Freed Jennings. Honoree Ivy Mensah

Ever since Ivy Mensah was a little girl living in Ghana, she wanted to be a nurse. Later, when she became a mother and moved to the United States, it became her mission. A mission she is close to completing.

Now 37, Mensah has been studying nursing at Hostos since Fall 2015, all the while caring for her 9-year-old son who has sickle cell anemia. She said it was his health issues that helped fuel her fire to one day work as a registered nurse.

“I really admire the nurses at Children’s Hospital at Montefiore Hospital because of the patience and care they give my son. Working closely with both the nurses and children has cemented my goal of becoming a pediatric nurse in the near future,” Mensah said.

Mensah started her Hostos journey at the Adult Learning Center, where she earned her school equivalency (HSE) diploma. She then attended the Center’s 10-week College Readiness Seminar plus a math workshop, which helped her successfully pass the CUNY Assessment test and not exhaust her financial aid.

With her HSE in hand, Mensah has been working hard toward her Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S) Degree in Nursing. Also, as the mother of two other children, she has overcome a lot of obstacles. However, she also has found time to give back, volunteering as a patient care assistant at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center. Her dedication and sacrifice have not gone unnoticed.

On June 16, Mensah received a Peter Jennings Scholarship Award at a ceremony at the CUNY Graduate School and University Center. Kayce Freed Jennings has been administering the scholarship awards since her husband died in 2005. The Peter Jennings Scholarship Laurel Award Program provides scholarships to adults who have recently achieved their HSE diplomas through the CUNY Adult Literacy/HSE Program, and who will continue their education at one of the campuses of CUNY.

Mensah said the $2,000 award will go a long way in her studies. She also said she could not have gotten this far without the support from Hostos faculty and staff.

“I can’t say enough about Hostos,” Mensah said. “I really struggled with mathematics when I tested for my HSE degree, but the support was amazing, and I eventually passed. Now, I am closer to my dream than ever.”

About the Peter Jennings Scholarship Award:
In 2003, Peter Jennings was awarded the CUNY Chancellor’s Medal for his extraordinary achievements in journalism and his contributions as a role model and catalyst for a better-informed citizenry. The scholarships are supported through the generosity of the Bank of New York/Mellon and the Peter Jennings Foundation.

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.

Named one of the top 10 finalists for the 2015 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, Hostos offers 28 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.