BCC Scholars Lead the Way
Congratulations to the two BCC students selected in August as Kaplan Leadership Scholars. Karen Alvarez Julian and Felix Patawah both met the scholarship’s requirements as high-potential, low-income associate degree candidates. They are now receiving financial assistance, academic advisement and college admissions support to prepare them for transferring to selective four-year colleges and complete their bachelor’s degrees after they graduate from BCC next spring.
Karen Alvarez Julian was born in United States and raised in the Dominican Republic. “That’s where I discovered my interest in medicine and generally helping other people,” recalls Karen. “I grew up experiencing how poverty affected access to health care. My mom — my mentor — taught me the importance of education and setting goals in life.” In 2014, she returned to the United States to pursue her education. She graduated from Kingsbridge International High School with an Advanced Regents Diploma. Entering BCC in 2016, she is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, the Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) STEM Scientific Research Workshop and the BCC Academy for Transitions to Health Professions. “Being called a Kaplan Leadership Scholar motivates me to think bigger and be an example for other students that want to achieve their dreams.”
Felix Ayertey Patawah is an immigrant from Ghana, where he received his high school diploma from Accra Academy. “At Bronx Community College, I am pursuing a major in chemistry, with dreams of transferring into a four-year school for my bachelor’s degree in biochemistry,” says Felix. “My experience as a student here at BCC has been exceptionally great thanks to classes designed to allow you to achieve equally important things outside the classroom.” Like Karen, Felix is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and a beneficiary of ASAP. He also shares his co-Kaplan scholar‘s interest in a career as a physician. “I am challenged every day to work earnestly towards my ultimate goal of becoming a medical doctor, so I can contribute to helping Ghana and Africa at large bridge the health disparity gap.”
“I cannot thank the BCC community enough for the contribution it has made in making me who I am today,” Felix adds. “Together with my fellow scholar, Karen Alvarez Julian, I will be working hard this academic year to increase the representation of applicants from BCC in competitive programs such as the Kaplan Leadership Program.”