BCC Foundation Meets Its Beneficiaries

  Feature, News   •
The Bronx Community College Foundation joined its donors and the students they support for a reception honoring both on Thursday, December 6. They gathered at the Thurgood Marshall Law Collection of BCC’s North Hall and Library to break bread, share stories and savor the Season of Giving.

As a portrait of the legendary Justice Marshall looked on, BCC President Thomas A. Isekenegbe welcomed the attendees with words of affection for the College. “For those of you who are new here, this is the time of year that you really get to see the beauty of the campus,” said the President. “The lights coming from the different buildings, the Quad — I don’t know what heaven looks like yet, but I think this must be the next best place.”

The microphone then passed to the evening’s emcee, BCC Foundation Chair Olga Luz Tirado. Ms. Tirado, who also serves the borough as the executive director of the Bronx Tourism Council, battled a touch of laryngitis to tell the attendees, “My colleagues and I understand the importance of scholarship support. Taking part in an evening like this reminds us of why we do the work we do. The support of the Foundation can mean the difference between completing a degree or dropping out.”

She was followed by two scholarship recipients. Nursing student Joanna Akhidue noted “I am from Nigeria. Being an international student doesn’t come with a lot of opportunities like receiving financial aid. We pay our tuition out of pocket, which is difficult. Thank you for your support of students like me.”

Engineering and science major Saikou Fadiga acknowledged the Foundation and other donors in the room, connecting them to the values of his native Guinea. “Growing up in West Africa taught me we should help one another — that’s the culture. And as Muslims, we are taught that our prophet Muhammed says whoever makes life easy for someone, God will make life easy for him. When I came to BCC, I saw so many different people. I saw Africans, people from the Middle East, Hispanics. It helped me grow as a human being.”

Rounding out the roster of speakers was entrepreneur, author and talk show host Michael S. Robinson, the Foundation’s vice-chair and treasurer, who told the students  “On behalf of the Board, all of us, we are proud of you. We ask you to continue working hard to make sure you not only do well here at BCC but as you go onward with your life. Whatever you do, live a big life. Dream big and be awesome because we are here rooting for you.”

The rest of the night was devoted to congratulations, networking, dinner and coquitos, the traditional Christmas drink of the Caribbean.

Seventeen scholarship recipients in all attended the reception. They were:

Joanna Akhidue — Rudin Scholarship
Amie Drammeh — Rudin Scholarship
Erica Edwards — Rudin Scholarship
Saikou Fadiga — University Heights Scholarship
Siatta Harris — Entrepreneurship Education Scholarship
Chauncey Gray — Rudin Scholarship
Elvis Kusi — Entrepreneurship Ed. Scholarship
Yana Lewis — Pershing Rifles Company E-8/Bob Fernandez Scholarship
Lianu Luigi Mallare — Rudin Scholarship
Richard Nzamba — General Scholarship
Elizabeth Olaleye — Rudin Scholarship
Esther Otun — FA’17 Parley Scholarship
Liliana Paulino — David & Pastora / Pershing Rifles Scholarships
Gayra Romero — Rudin Scholarship
Lovell Small — Entrepreneurship Education Scholarship
Joshua Soto — Rudin Scholarship
Abdul-Samed Walker — Alumni Scholarship

The group photo of all the guests (above) captured the evening’s atmosphere of praise for the students’ past accomplishments and best wishes for their future ones.

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