Kaplan Scholars

Ten University undergraduates have been awarded 2008 scholarships by the Kaplan Education Founda-tion via its Leadership Program—which provides financial assistance plus academic support and career counseling designed to help high-achieving, lower-income students at New York area community colleges pursue their professional dreams.

"We hope these students' success will serve as a model to organizations striving to close the achievement gap and to focus on individuals not typically targeted for scholarship opportunities who have demonstrated great leadership potential," said Jennifer Benn, director of the Kaplan Educational Foundation.

This third cohort of Kaplan Scholars, aged 18 to 32, includes aspiring professors, attorneys, writers and entrepreneurs. Four are students at LaGuardia Community College, two at Borough of Manhattan Community College and one each at Bronx Community College, Hostos Community College, Queensborough Community College and John Jay College of Criminal Justice's associate degree program. The eight previous Kaplan Scholars also all have been CUNY community college students.

LaGuardia's newest Kaplan Scholars are Luis Feliz, a volunteer teacher for English as a Second Language and aspiring professor, who launched his school's literary magazine; Anastasia Morton, a single mother who wants to teach young people the importance of education and self-esteem; Don Patterson, whose leadership positions include Executive Student Senator and liaison for the Student Advisory Council; Cristina Rodriguez, who wants to work on improving the public healthcare system.

Borough of Manhattan Community College scholars are Nolvia Delgado, a legislative assistant for a state assemblyman who is interested in a career in public service, and Andrew Santiago, an aspiring writer and Phi Theta Kappa member, who works at Prep for Prep.

The University's other new Kaplan Scholars are Janet Araya, John Jay College, an aspiring attorney; Bounyaminou Gbadamassi, a trilingual Bronx Commu-nity College student and immigrant from Togo who hopes to lead a global business; Kesha Montgomery, a Queensborough Community College student hoping to work for the Federal Reserve; Norberto Taveras, Hostos Community College student and aspiring occupational therapist, who serves as vice president of his school's Disability Awareness Club.

The foundation continues to provide service and financial support to these students through the completion of the bachelor's program.