Hostos Emerging Leaders Program
Liberal Arts and Sciences Major
German Santos was born in New York City at St. Luke’s Hospital on April 20th, 1983. He grew up in Morningside Heights with his mother Altagracia and his twin brother, David. His mother had to go through many struggles in her life to make sure that she would be able to provide a decent home and an education for her two sons. She always told both German and David that learning is the most important step towards manhood. German has had a passion for music ever since he was four years old and he dreamt of being a musician, a performer, a composer and even a songwriter from that age. German could feel the influence of music on his life every day and he made a commitment to himself to study and pursue a musical career. German began to learn how to sing and play music by listening to the radio, where he could practice his vocal skills. He would also use two sticks and a pail to make his own beats in tune with the music that he was listening to. Once, German’s mother noticed that both her sons had musical talent, she helped them to form their own band, La Banda Twin.
German had to put his dream of music on hold for a while, because he was reminded by his mother that he needed to focus more on going to school and getting his education. German was also lured into participating more in recreational activities as a teenager as a participant at the Biddy Academic & Basketball Program at The Children’s Aid Society’s Frederick Douglass Children’s Center. German later was offered a job and started working at the center during the summer of 2000 in the Summer Youth Employment Program. This job allowed for German to lead and participate in programs for Personal Development, Sports Management and Homework Help. German also found a way to return to his passion for singing and music by performing regularly with the Gospel Choir, that was associated with the center. German attended Manhattan Center High School for Science & Math and graduated in 2004.
German’s original goal was to go to the Borough of Manhattan Community College to study Computer Technology. When his family visited the campus, they stopped by the Admissions Office and found out that in order for German to be accepted into the college, he would either have to participate into the 24 college credit course program or register himself into the GED program and earn a General Education Development Diploma. German had to make some tough choices in his life at this time, both to help his family and take care of his responsibilities. So, in January of 2007, German enrolled in an Adult Education Program at CUNY In the Heights, where he took GED classes three days a week. He was still working part-time at Frederick Douglass Center to earn enough money to support his family and help pay the household bills. In July of 2008, he earned the GED diploma.
In the Spring of 2009, because of his positive experiences at CUNY in the Heights, German chose to enroll at Hostos Community College to pursue his dream of getting a college education. Hostos has became a second home to him. German became a member of the Hostos Student Leadership Academy’s Emerging Leaders Program in the Spring of 2010 after participating in the SLA Winter Workshop Series. German has been an active member of the Academy since that time and has served as committee chair for both the Leadership Film Series and the SLA Newsletter, as well as serving on the Passing the Torch Committee, the Monthly Leadership Forum Committee and the Leadership Academy Interviews Committee. Over the course of his time as a member of the Academy, German has volunteered for more than 300 hours of community service, engaging in actives as wide-ranging as feeding the hungry at POTS Soup Kitchen and Love Gospel Assembly Soup Kitchen, planting trees and cleaning up Franz Siegel Park as a part of the annual It’s My Park Day activities and as a part of the 100 Million Trees effort at Van Cortlandt Park, working with children on special projects and reading to them at the MLK, Jr. National Day of Service, supporting veterans and fallen heroes as a part of the 9-11 National Day of Service, painting murals in Sunset Park and Hunts Point Park, representing the college and providing testimonial support at the New York City Budget Hearings, working with Hostos students to help them register for classes and giving campus tours, and doing what he loves most, annually, singing Christmas Carols to senior citizens at the Chinatown Senior Center each Christmas.
German has been a participant at the CUNY Emerging Leaders Conference, The Hostos Community College Conference on Civility, The Dynamic Women in Leadership Conference, the CSI Leadership Conference, The Black Male Initiative Conference, The Lehman Leadership Conference and 29th Annual Green Thumb Grow Together Conference. German has been interviewed by Univision about his experiences at Hostos and he and his brother David have performed at Dominican Heritage events at the college as well as at several Homecoming activities. German has also represented the college at the National Puerto Rican Day parade, The Bronx Dominican Day Parade, The Revlon/Run Walk and AIDS Walk NYC. He also participated in the BIG Event activity at Hostos last spring in celebration of the 45th Anniversary of Hostos. German is the recipient of the 2012 Bronx CUNY Scholarship and served as the President of the Ability Awareness Club from 2011-2013 and he is currently the Treasurer for the English Club.