The Association of Latino Faculty and Staff Awards

The Bronx Community College Association of Latino Faculty & Staff have established several awards for Bronx Community College Students. Please feel free to click the links below to learn more about these opportunities. These awards are given to students of Hispanic or Latino origin who have excelled academically in his or her chosen major at BCC, and has made a contribution to the College or the community.

Click the following links to download the appropriate award applications for the 2021-2022 cycle (submission deadline April 15, 2022):

ALFS Student of the Year Award

BCC GRIT Award

Dr. Lester Edgardo Sandres Rápalo Award for DACA Students 

Fatima Isekenegbe Service Award

Future Now Award

Leadership and Emotional Intelligence Award

Renacimiento en Fortaleza Award

Rev. Dr. Samuel Acosta Memorial Award

Edelmira Alers Award for Latinas in Nursing

The Surviving Warrior Award 

William Coss Memorial Award

The Association of Latino Faculty and Staff Awards

The Bronx Community College Association of Latino Faculty & Staff have established several awards for Bronx Community College Students. Please feel free to click the links below to learn more about these opportunities. These awards are given to students of Hispanic or Latino origin who have excelled academically in his or her chosen major at BCC, and has made a contribution to the College or the community.

Click the following links to download the appropriate award applications for the 2021-2022 cycle (submission deadline April 15, 2022):

ALFS Student of the Year Award

BCC GRIT Award

Dr. Lester Edgardo Sandres Rápalo Award for DACA Students 

Fatima Isekenegbe Service Award

Future Now Award

Leadership and Emotional Intelligence Award

Renacimiento en Fortaleza Award

Rev. Dr. Samuel Acosta Memorial Award

Edelmira Alers Award for Latinas in Nursing

The Surviving Warrior Award 

William Coss Memorial Award

Award Descriptions

GritThe Purpose of the Association of Latino Faculty & Staff – GRIT Award is to recognize/support a Bronx Community College graduating student who has overcome adversity and challenges; through tenacity and resilience, has overcome such challenges and demonstrated significant academic improvement.

The GRIT Award was created after a few brainstorming sessions of a group of colleagues regarding academic remedial courses and student challenges.  In reviewing several cases, for most, the common denominator is the financial challenge our students face.  Despite this, our students are defeating the odds to reach their academic goals.   This award recognizes these fantastic students and assists them in continuing to pursue their educational goals.   Join us in paying it forward and help our BCC students become the best they can be.

The BCC GRIT Award Scholarship annually awards a $450.00 scholarship to a graduating student who meets the following criteria:

  • Minimum GPA of 2.5;
  • Must show evidence of academic improvement of a year or more;
  • Must be of Hispanic/Latino descent;
  • Must provide one letter of recommendation from a BCC faculty or staff;
  • Must have a demonstrated financial need;
  • Must write an essay with a minimum of 500 words about his or her future career goals; how having perseverance and determination has impacted achieving set goals and contributions made to the College or community;
  • Transfer students are welcome to apply.

Provost Lester Edgardo Sandres RápaloThe Purpose of the Association of Latino Faculty & Staff – Dr. Lester Edgardo Sandres Rápalo DACA Student Award is to recognize/support students with DACA status.  The DACA status allows undocumented students to attend college as well as to obtain temporary work permits.  The DACA status is renewable every two years, which has an application cost.  Due to the lack of financial aid support, only 10% of the estimated 65,000 DACA students enroll in college.

The Dr. Lester Edgardo Sandres Rápalo Award for DACA students was established to provide these students with the opportunity to enroll in college to pursue their educational goals.  Bronx Community college can be a partner for this student group that needs our help.

Let’s be the community that makes them feel safe and gives them a sense of belonging.   Be our partner in giving hope to our BCC DACA students.

The. Dr. Lester Edgardo Sandres Rápalo for DACA Students Award annually grants a $500.00 award to two students. Each student needs to meet the following criteria:

  • Must have a DACA status
  • Must provide one letter of recommendation from a BCC faculty or staff
  • Must have a demonstrated financial need
  • Freshman and transfer students are welcome to apply
  • DACA students in Stem programs are encouraged to apply
  • Must write an essay with a minimum of 500 words about his or her future career goals; how achieving DACA status has impacted their lives

Eldemira AldersEdelmira Alers for Latinas in Nursing Award, was established by Dr. Melissa Coss-Aquino, Associate Professor of English, in loving memory of her mother. Her mother, Edlemira Alers had wanted to be a nurse, and worked for many years as a medical assistant.

About Edelmira Alers

Edelmira Alers was born in San Sebastian, Puerto Rico and came to NYC at five years of age.

She had only one child and many health challenges from a young age, including substance dependence.

She worked as a medical assistant and had dreams of becoming a nurse. Those dreams were never realized. However, she had a wonderful sense of humor and a desire to see others progress and overcome their own obstacles.

This Award was inspired by her nursing dreams and the wonderful care she received at the Terrence Cardinal Cooke Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. Receiving culturally sensitive care made her last years significantly better.

The Edelmira Alers Award for Latinas in Nursing annually gives a $350 award to a student who meets the following criteria:

  • GPA and requirements for entering the Nursing Program (as established by BCC).
  • Entering the nursing program or accepted and enrolled.
  • Female Hispanic/Latina/x student who wants to go into nursing or other health professions.
  • Must provide one letter of recommendation from a BCC faculty or staff. An email will suffice this requirement. Email should be addressed to: latino.association@bcc.cuny.edu.
  • Must write a short essay describing one significant obstacle overcome during your studies and the motivation for wanting to study nursing or other health professions.

Fatima Isekenegbe Service Award

The Fatima Isekenegbe Service Award annually grants a $250 award to two students. Each student needs to meet the following criteria:

Criteria:

  • Must be enrolled at Bronx Community College (BCC) with a GPA of 2.5 or above.
  • Must be involved in volunteer service in the community.
  • Must provide a letter of recommendation from a BCC faculty or staff.
  • Must write an essay with a minimum of 500 words detailing volunteer services and experiences in their community.

 

Additional information:

  • This award will be given to the student directly as a check.
  • The student winners will be selected by an appointed subcommittee member from the Association of Latino Faculty and Staff. Documents will be reviewed by the committee.
  • Awards will be given at the annual Award Ceremony at the end of the spring semester. Two student winners will be selected, each receiving a check for $250.00.

Sincerely,

Thomas Isekenegbe,

BCC President and Donor

Future NowThe Purpose of the Association of Latino Faculty & Staff – Future Now Award is to recognize/support a Future Now High School Equivalency Graduate who is currently a full-time student at Bronx Community College.  Preference will be given to students of Black or Latino descent, and must be on track to graduate with his/ her Associate Degree by June 2022.

About Future Now:

Future Now was founded in 1998 on the campus of Bronx Community College to promote the educational and vocational development of young adults residing in the Bronx.  The program offers free HSE and vocational training classes, student counseling and career exploration, along with college preparation and enrollment services to students ages 17 to 24.  Most students are engaged in classes and other activities 25 hours per week.  This level of intensity allows students to see progress relatively quickly, which helps motivate them to persist in their studies.

In order to enroll in Future Now, a student must:

  • Be between ages 17 – 24 by the first day of class
  • Be a New York City resident
  • Pass the Future Now placement test
  • Attend an interview and orientation

Dr. Barbara Flores-CaballeroThe Leadership and Emotional Intelligence Award founded by Dr. Barbara Flores-Caballero, Assistant Professor in the Education and Academic Literacy Department at Bronx Community College is open for students in the Latino, Latina or LatinX community continuing to pursue their Bachelor’s Degree studies. They are seeking to recognize a student who demonstrates emotional intelligence (ability to identify and manage your emotions while also recognizing others) and the willingness to serve, influence and motivate others to lead by example.

The Leadership and Emotional Intelligence Award’s emphasis is to bring awareness that in order to be a successful and advantageous professional you need to have the necessary tools, strategies and techniques of emotional intelligence to achieve your dreams.

This Award will grant the student the opportunity to continue on developing their leadership and emotional intelligence skills with the aim that they can make a difference as a future Latino/a or LatinX leader in any field of study they seek.

The Leadership and Emotional Intelligence Award annually gives a $350.00 scholarship to a graduating student who meets the following criteria:

  • Must have a 3.2 GPA or above.
  • Graduating in August 2021, January 2022 or June 2022, and will attend a four-year college in Fall 22.
  • Must be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident.
  • Must be of Hispanic/Latino descent.
  • Must provide one letter of recommendation from a BCC faculty or staff.
  • Must write an essay of 500 words defining social emotional intelligence and describing the importance for Latinos/as to develop leadership skills and emotional intelligence?

BCC 2019 Graduation

The Purpose of the Association of Latino Faculty & Staff – Renacimiento in Fortaleza Award (Reborn in strength)

Renacimiento en Fortaleza is translated into Rebirth in strength; in many ways, our day-to-day lives have caused a rebirth while navigating our new normal during the pandemic. This pandemic has forced difficult conversations for people of all walks of life to talk about their mental health and what is affecting them. The definition of this award is so deeply personal and profound for me. I was inspired to create this award based on my battle with my mental health while suffering from depression and anxiety, which also led me to work on my career towards becoming a therapist.

It was important to me to be able to recognize other students who have been soldiers alongside me. I wanted to honor an individual who has battled and acknowledged their struggles with their mental health but also has experienced a rebirth; with the realization that there is strength in being true to who you are, to what you feel, to honor your beliefs, and seek help when necessary. There is strength in honoring the multitude of parts that make us human. I wanted to make sure that this award was open to everyone regardless of ethnicity, no matter what you identify as, and it didn’t matter if you didn’t have the perfect grades.

Students interested in applying or the Award will need to meet the criteria below:

  • Minimum GPA of 2.5;
  • Must show evidence of academic improvement of a year;
  • Must provide one letter of recommendation from a BCC faculty or staff;
  • Must have a demonstrated financial need;
  • Must write an essay with a minimum of 500 words about his/her, experience of issues with mental health that affected academic and life in general; how they were able to persevere and thrive;
  • LGBTQ+ students are encouraged and welcome to apply
  • Transfer students are welcome to apply.

Rev. Dr. Samuel AcostaThe Rev. Dr. Samuel Acosta Memorial Award supports excellent Latinx students in the social sciences, who have demonstrated a dedication to working with their communities in the present and/or in the future.  The recipient must have a 3.2 GPQ or higher, be attending a four-year college in Fall, is a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident, and is of Hispanic/Latino descent.

About The Rev. Dr. Samuel Acosta:

The Rev. Dr. Samuel Acosta was an important community leader in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago during the 1970s-1990s, earning a commendation from Mayor Richard M. Daley.

The Rev. Dr. Acosta had degrees in social work, pastoral counseling, and theology, from Princeton, Loyola University, and The University of Chicago’s Theological Seminary.  He used his broad knowledge to support Latinx families who were struggled with displacement from their countries of origin, discrimination and persecution, and family trauma.

He also created a community center which housed a preschool, satellite college campuses, and a counseling center in Logan Square.

This award is meant to remember his legacy but, more importantly, support students who wish to give to their communities in a similar fashion.

The Rev. Dr. Samuel Acosta Memorial Award annually gives a $350.00 scholarship to a graduating student who meets the following criteria:

  • Must have a 3.2 GPA or above.
  • Graduating in August 2021, January 2022 or June 2022, and will attend a four-year college in Fall 21.
  • Must be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident.
  • Must be of Hispanic/Latino descent.
  • Must provide one letter of recommendation from a BCC faculty or staff.
  • Must write an essay of 500 words about why it is important for Latinos/as to go into the field of social sciences.
Luis Mendez

Luis Mendez and his mother, Jeannette Davila.

The Surviving Warrior Award was created after the traumatic brain injury that my son Luis A. Mendez experienced in 2016 and his eagerness, effort that he displayed to continue with his life regardless his present condition.  As a mother and a BCC employee it’s a joy to see how students take advantage of a second opportunity in life. This award will be given to a student that sustained a trauma brain injury (TBI) or has been a victim of gun violence and still is pursuing their studies despite any difficulties or impediments the incident may have caused.

The Surviving Warrior Award will grant a $250.00 award to a Bronx Community College student who meets the following criteria:

  • Must be a student that sustained a TBI injury or a victim of gun violence.
  • Must be of Hispanic/Latino/African American descent.
  • Must provide one letter of recommendation from a BCC faculty or Staff.
  • Must write an essay with a minimum of 350 words about how having this injury didn’t stop his/her dreams and instead impacted his/her decision to continue with their education.
  • Must maintain a minimum G.P.A. of 2.0 or higher.

William CossWilliam Coss Award was established by Dr. Melissa Coss Aquino, Associate Professor of English and her brother William Coss, in loving memory of their father.  The award is meant to support students who overcome obstacles and return to school later in life in honor of his having completed his HS education at 60 years of age.

About William Coss:

William Coss was a Puerto Rican born in the Bronx.  He was seventeen years old when he became a father for the first time.

He went on to overcome many obstacles and roadblocks, including substance dependence, and served as an inspiration to his four children as he continually strove to improve his life. He ultimately owned his own car stereo and alarm business on Webster Ave in the Bronx, and retired as a doorman in White Plains.

He had always hoped to return to school, but had undiagnosed learning disabilities. At 60 years of age he achieved his dream of completing his high school equivalency. A lifelong learner, an organic intellectual and Bronx boy at heart, his insistence on education for all of his children changed my life.

This Award was inspired by his generous heart and his desire to see others, who did not have a chance to complete school, get a chance later in life.

The William Coss Memorial Award annually gives a $350.00 scholarship to a student who meets the following criteria:

  • Must have obtained their GED or completed High School after 30 years old.
  • Freshman or Transfer Students are eligible to apply.
  • Must be of Hispanic/Latino descent.
  • Must provide one letter of recommendation from a BCC faculty or staff.
  • Must write an essay with a minimum of 500 words about his or her future career goals; how having perseverance and determination has impacted achieving set goals, and contributions made to the College or community; as well as their decision of returning to school.

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