College and Student Leaders Welcome New and Returning Broncos at Fall 2023 Convocation

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New and returning students gathered at the Sept. 7 Fall Student Convocation kicking off the 203-24 academic year with college and student leaders delivering welcome remarks and words of encouragement.  

Interim President Milton Santiago said, “I want you to take advantage of everything. We have so many services that we offer our students outside of the academic area to take care of your interpersonal issues or personal circumstances. We have a food pantry and, if you are a parent, a childcare center. And we also have so many academic resources that can help you succeed.” 

Student Government Association (SGA) President Nicholas Fernandez spoke to his fellow students about the range of student programs that caters to students’ diverse interests. ”Our student programs are here to ignite your spark. Know that your journey at Bronx Community College will not only empower you academically, but it will also provide you with a supportive community that believes in your dreams. From the very first day you step onto campus, you become part of this vibrant tapestry of student life,” he said.

Fernandez added, “Our free food pantry ensures that no student goes hungry. Additionally, we have a dedicated team of mental health professionals available to provide you with the support and guidance you may need through life’s ups and downs. Campus is a safe space where you can learn, make mistakes and grow. You are a part of a community that encourages you to explore your boundaries, question the status quo and discover your true potential. Remember: Seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness.”

College Senate Faculty Chairperson Chair Roni Ben-Nun inspired students with his words about the significance of BCC in his life. Ben-Nun came to BCC as a foreign student and now works at BCC as a full-time professor and Chair of the Art and Music Department. “This college is special. It has become my home,” Ben-Nun said. “And I hope it will be like that for you. I hope it will be your first step in a wonderful career and life.” 

BCC alum Mr. Luis Mendez shared his powerful story of how he overcame obstacles and succeeded at BCC and beyond. He said his decision to attend BCC was the best one he could have ever made.  

“Choose your own happiness. You can do anything you put your mind to, no matter what you’re going through,” said Mendez, who is currently completing his master’s from Lehman College. “You guys attending here and making the decision to be here is the right step towards something big. Fix your mind to the goal – which is to graduate with a degree from BCC. Focus on the finish line, and you’ll get there.”

Provost and VP for Academic Affairs, Dr. Luis Montenegro, and Associate Director of the Office of Student Life, Tiffany Dubon, also delivered welcome greetings.

Convocation concluded with students participating in the Student Commitment Pledge led by SGA and members of the Male Empowerment Network. The event was followed with refreshments in the lobby and a meet and greet with the Student Delegation visiting BCC from India.  

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