LaGuardia Community College ASAP Award Ceremony
April 12, 2010
My name is Darnell Auguste, and I am a proud student of the ASAP community. It has not only been a scholarship program, it has been more like a family to me because over time, you realize the people helping you are the people that want to see you do the best you can in this world. There's a lot of hard times that a lot of people face, and it's just always good to get help from anywhere available because help is more than just an individual helping another individual, it's an opportunity to make the world a better place. On that note, let me begin what I have to say.
The ASAP community has helped me tremendously. Right now I'm currently a student who graduated last semester and plans on going to St. Francis University to do radiation technology and move on and get a bachelor's degree. So I'm happy I came here because I learned a lot of things like leadership, peer mentoring, giving advice, the best way to give it, what to say, and how to say it. Even if you want to help somebody, there's still guidelines to how far your help can go because there's certain boundaries that shouldn't be stepped over because you have to know the point where someone either wants to accept help or doesn't want to accept help.
When I first started ASAP, I thought it was kind of weird because they gave me a block schedule and I didn't know why I had a block schedule. It had me stuck seeing the same students in every class. It was like, "Aww man, you're in my class? I just seen you in English!" However, ASAP's block schedule in the first year is necessary, and the reason why I feel it's necessary, at least for me, is because it helps your peers become your family members. If they need help, you're able to help them and it's like a support ladder. For example, I was in Math 115, and that was pretty difficult for me. A couple of ASAP students were having a hard time also. We decided to get together for a group session. All three of us figured out that we still weren't getting it even though our three minds were combined, so we went to ASAP tutoring, and that one on one help was tremendous. It was suggested by my ASAP advisors, Ingrid DeLeon, N'Jeri Mitchell, Leslie, Caroline, Bernard, and staff every time they see me, it's a big greeting, a big smile. I love it. ASAP is kind of like Cheers, everyone knows your name. You walk in there, they are glad to see you, you know? They're glad that you came, just like the song. I really like it, it made me feel comfortable, and especially in college, that's a big step in a lot of people's lives. Usually when some people start their first year of college, they have one foot in the door and one foot out because they don't know if they want to go back out into the work force or keep going with their education, and ASAP had a welcome mat that I was like, "Oh man, so what else do we have in life? Can I take a seat?" ASAP is good like that.
When I was involved in ASAP, I also got involved in ASAP leadership. As Anthony Pappas said, it's good to get involved in extracurricular activities, so I got in ASAP leadership, ASAP student advisory committee, and ASAP peer mentor. I feel it's important to give back to the people who've been giving so much because it's like a helping hand, we have to pay it forward. In doing that, we make the college a better place, and not only that we make the scholarship possible for others. Since ASAP was so successful in its first year, Donna (Linderman, ASAP University Director) knows that, they were able to expand it. Also in ASAP, you can stand out, even though you're in a community of your peers and you may feel it's one on one help or it's competition, whatever you may have in your mind, you can also stand out in the visual because we're all different and your ability to learn is your ability to push you forward. For me being in ASAP, there was one point where it came down to five lucky students and we got accepted into CUNY leadership. ASAP CUNY leadership was from ASAP schools around the city. They chose five students from each school to put together an event that would either change the college, change the scholarship, or change people's train of thought. I was able to put together an event with Geizel (Amador) and a couple other students to make things really nice.
On that note, I would just like to say that "everyday, we are presented with a different road to travel and different choices to make, but at the end of the day, we'll eventually figure it out." Thank you!