Salutatorian Assetou Doucoure in graduation cap and gown

Assetou Doucoure graduated from Hostos in the fall of 2019 with a liberal arts associate degree and a 4.0 GPA. This fall she enters the nursing baccalaureate program at Lehman College. Born in Mali and raised in South Africa. Doucoure came to the United States ten years ago, joining her husband in New York. Receiving an education was always her greatest wish, and – when she learned that CUNY accepted undocumented students – she found a home at Hostos. 
Her path to academic success wasn’t always an easy one. “I lived through a lot of stories to make it this far,” Doucoure said. “I’m a French speaker, and I worked for a French family as a nanny –  that’s how I paid for school and supplies.” There were additional challenges:  “I have two kids, and my husband and I are Muslim, but we managed and overcame, and I went back to school and here I am.”  
Fascinated with the field of medicine, Doucoure studied biotechnology in South Africa but shifted her focus to nursing in NYC. She shares her love of science with her father. Nursing had always been a goal of hers and, though the road to the profession has been longer than she expected, being chosen as the Salutatorian of the Class of 2020 is proof positive that Doucoure’s determination paid off.  
“It showed me,” Doucoure said, “that with perseverance you can get anything you want. I’m a go-getter, and I know that. It was very  hard. The main thin g for m e was to get my paper s because I thoug ht that was my  barrier  to school.  But thanks to  the good faith of CUNY and  Hostos, I  was given a chance to show  I am  capable  of doing  something,  that being undocumented does not define me and  it  will not  stop  me – and it did  not  stop  me.”