Photo of student Oumou Dili Traore

As the end of the school year approaches and commencement ceremonies near, one is reminded again of the transformative power of education. The sights and sounds of that joyous day when, in-person or virtually, students receive their diplomas not only gladden the heart, they demonstrate the power of the community college system and the on-going need for institutions like Hostos. The positive changes they make possible in the lives of so many is evident in the stories students share.
Oumou Dili Traore also knows how empowering education can be. After she graduated from high school in Mali, she accepted an aunt’s invitation to come and study in New York City. English lessons at CUNY in the Heights were followed by enrollment at Hostos. Qualifying for the prestigious Kaplan Leadership Program provided her with guidance and financial support that made transfer to an Ivy League school possible. This autumn, Oumou will pursue a bachelor’s degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Cornell University.

She said she credits her outstanding achievements to “the amazing Hostos students and faculty I have encountered and the generous programs which supported me.”
When you hear the stories of students like Oumou, you see — you feel — what the chance to study, to learn, to achieve, and to give back means. She is not alone. Across this great city, CUNY helps student after student achieve what once might have seemed impossible: a better life for themselves, their families, their communities.