Picture of Public Safety and Student Volunteers

As CUNY institutions moved to a distance education model in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hostos Community College began distributing computing devices to students who expressed a need for them with assistance from some special helpers: their classmates. 

Student Leadership Academy members Yanira Arias and Mustafa Ahmed were eager to help in whatever way they could during these difficult times and jumped at the opportunity to deliver laptops to students who otherwise may not be able to continue their studies without them.  

“I felt this is a moment to be there for others,” shared Arias, a business administration major. “There are many people whose dreams are falling apart due to not having a way to receive class.” 

Arias and Mustafa were among three Student Leadership Academy members who helped Hostos Public Safety Officers bring computers to students who requested them. To ensure everyone’s safety, the distribution teams wore protective face masks and gloves and observed social distancing guidelines during drop-offs. Even so, Arias said she could still feel the recipients’ gratitude.  

“Despite the fact none of them know any of us, they still smiled sharing the ‘Hostos Effect.’ If you are a Hostos member, you are family. That's how they made me feel,” she said.  

Ahmed himself was recently on the receiving end of some much-needed support from others and was happy to have the opportunity to pay forward the good will. “I know I would probably never be able to pay back the people that have helped me out, but if I can do something to help someone else out, especially in a difficult time like this, then you can bet I will,” he shared.  

Ahmed, who is completing his second semester at Hostos, acknowledged the College’s Public Safety Officers and other student volunteers as MVP’s for the roles they played in ensuring a successful operation and he’s grateful to have had the opportunity to lend a helping hand. “I felt good to be able to help other people out.” 

Registered Hostos students in need of a laptop or other technology can request a loaner device by filling out and submitting this questionnaire.