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Retiree Scholarship Fund

Retiree Scholarship Fund

Funded by the Kingsborough Retirees and administered by the Retiree Group Committee, an annual scholarship is awarded in the spring to one or two current students, based on need, academic achievement and community involvement.

The scholarship is awarded to students who meet the following criteria:

  • GPA of 3.0 or above
  • 12-35 credits after winter of the given academic year
  • Passed all parts of the CUNY skills assessment exam
  • Has strong financial need; NOTE: students in the ASAP program are not eligible to apply, nor are those who have been awarded a scholarship valued at more than $500 from Kingsborough or an outside agency
  • Currently enrolled as a full-time student with the intention of enrolling at Kingsborough in the fall
  • Active involvement in one or more of the college's co-curricular activities
  • A deep appreciation for KCC and able to express it verbally and in a well-written essay
  • Student must meet CUNY regulations and guidelines as it pertains to receiving financial support.

We invite you to meet current and previous Retiree Scholarship Recipients:

2019 Retiree Scholarship Recipient

Poh Wan (Vivian) Wong

Vivian came to the United States after she had completed an associate degree in Malaysia because she and her family felt that it could lead to higher degrees. With her family as her only financial support (from afar), Vivian went through difficult times with the language, the food, and the culture she now found herself in. But she has stayed the course, made friends, and is now an active part of the College community, and an outstanding student.

2018 Retiree Scholarship Recipient

Zonika Tracey

Originally from Jamaica, Ms. Tracey came to the United States to study towards a nursing career after facing several employment challenges back home.  Despite financial problems, illness and death within her family, she has maintained a 3.8 GPA (remaining a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society) and has consistently earned a place on the Dean's List.  She serves as the current treasurer for the International Student's Union on campus and works in the department of HPE&R and the Performing Arts Center as a student aide.

2017 Retiree Scholarship Recipients

Aneesa Ahmed

Aneesa first came to the United States when she was 17 so that she could attend college. However, instead her father wanted her to get married in Pakistan, and her family brought her home. When Aneesa refused to accept such a marriage, her father sent her to a madrissa, a very strict kind of religious convent where she was often beaten.

While she has always been a strong follower of Islam, she couldn't stand this situation that was constantly pressuring her to get married. She begged her family to send her to the US, and she went to school and graduated in two years. On the pretense of coming home for her brother's wedding, her family had secretly planned for Aneesa's wedding as well. When she refused, she was beaten. Her family took away all her travel documents so that she could not run away, but the US Embassy stepped in and helped her leave the country.

Now that she is firmly back in the US, Aneesa is majoring in Criminal Justice so that she can work with groups to help abused women escape from situations like hers. She is planning to be an immigration lawyer.

Zixing Zhou

Zixing (or "Jenny" her adopted name) was unable to go to college in her native China, and her future there was a probable job in manufacturing or other menial work.

Coming to the US was difficult because of the language difference, but she depended on the one international language math to give her a focus. Thus, when she came to Kingsborough, not only did the College help her with her language skills, but she was able to major in Accounting where she feels very much at home. In addition, the very active and international social setting is an exciting counterpart to her probable setting in her homeland.

Ms. Zhou maintains a 4.0 GPA.

2016 Retiree Scholarship Recipient

Gillian Roberts
Major: Liberal Arts

A liberal arts major with a 3.69 GPA who one day aspires to be a research scientist in pharmaceutical field, Gillian came to the United States fromJamaica in February 2014 to be reunited with her husband and ten-year-old son.  Always someone who likes to plan ahead, she expected to be able to work as a pharmacy technician while she settled into her new life.  To her great dismay, she found that the degrees she earned in Jamaica were not accepted in this country, so she took a minimum wage job and applied to several four-year CUNY colleges to earn a degree in chemistry.  Once again,her plans were thwarted when she was not admitted to any of the schools.With great reluctance, she opted to attend Kingsborough - the communitycollege closest to her home and work, and to her surprise, found that itwas the perfect place for a weary, busy, hard-working, full-time parent,employee and student like herself to study.  She loves the idyllic setting by the water which reminds her of her island home, values the unity she sees among the diverse groups of students, and appreciates the supportive and pleasant attitudes of faculty and staff. She feels that Kingsborough provides a level of customer service and pride not generally found in thewider public.  Despite working 20 hrs. per week at an off-campus job, she has found time to become an Honors Representative Student Aide working with a professor from the Behavioral Sciences department who is conducting are search study. She also was invited to join Phi Theta Kappa, the two-year honor society for two-year colleges, and the National Society of Leadership and Success. She plans to use the scholarship money to help cover the cost of attending Kingsborough because despite receiving Federal Student Aid grants that help her with tuition, she finds that she is constantly consumed with thinking about how to provide life's basic necessities for herself and her family, thus every penny counts.  As the first member of her family to enroll in college, she hopes to serve as a beacon for her younger relatives and son, showing them that determination and hard work are the keys to success.  Gillian expects to graduate in June 2017 and wonders how she will ever be able to say good-bye to this beautiful treasure by the sea. She now feels that attending Kingsborough was the best decision I ever made.

2015 Retiree Scholarship Recipient

Michelle Yedin
Major: Journalism

Michelle is a journalism major with a 4.0 GPA who one day aspires to be a broadcaster. She arrived at Kingsborough in September 2014, upon graduating from James Madison H.S, embarrassed to tell anyone that she was attending a community college. She had set her sights on the Ivy League, and when she wasn t accepted to any of the colleges to which she had applied, she was extremely disappointed. Given the fact that her father was unemployed due to health problems, she felt that KCC was an affordable option and her last resort. After attending Kingsborough for only two weeks, her perception of the college, herself, and community college in general changed. She began to appreciate the unique opportunities that Kingsborough offers its diversestudent population. She realized that instead of her educational path ending at the community college, it was just beginning. In her first semester, she became a member of the Presidential Scholars program and enrolled in several rigorous honors classes. During the second semester,she became a staff writer for the student newspaper Scepter and the Honors newsletter The Extra Mile. She also won one of only twelve seats awarded to outstanding KCC students to represent the college at the annual National Model United Nations program held in Manhattan each spring. Most importantly, she was impressed by the high caliber of teaching in her classes and was inspired by professors like Eben Wood from the English department who helped renew her confidence in herself and improve her writing. Michelle is now proud to be a student at Kingsborough and wants to help spread the word to high school students that the college is not the13th grade. She plans to use the money from the Retirees scholarship to help reduce the financial stress on her family by covering some of the cost of next year's tuition.

2014 Retiree Scholarship Recipient

Mingsing Chi
Major: Nursing

Mingsing Chi, also known as Rachel, came to the U.S. three years ago, not speaking a word of English. She attended Fort Hamilton H.S. and upon graduation entered KCC's ESL program in September 2012. Her verbal skills are excellent, as is her comprehension of spoken English, and she has earned an impressive cumulative GPA of 3.775. She seeks to become a nursing major. We were impressed by the fact that although she works a part- time job to help out her mother and two younger sisters (her father passed away five years ago), and is very involved in the Chinese Student Association,she studies science books written in Chinese as well as English to insure that she understands the material. In essence, she is doing twice the work.She plans to use the scholarship money to help her buy nursing books in both languages so that she can continue to excel in her studies. She likes Kingsborough because of the beautiful views, free breakfasts offered by Student Life during the first week of classes and during finals week, and the ability to take winter and summer course work for the price of fall or spring tuition.

Lika Nakani
Major: Nursing

Lika is in the U.S. for three years. She is from the country of Georgia and has no family here; she lives in Brighton Beach and shares an apartment with two other Georgians. She worked full-time in order to take care of herself and help her family back home. Every day when she went to work, she saw students waiting for the KCC school bus and thought they were the luckiest people in the world because they could attend college. Despite the exhaustion of working ten hours a day, seven days a week, she decided to pursue her dream of being a nurse and began to take courses at Kingsborough. She joined the Presidential Scholars Honors program and has excelled, earning a 3.863 GPA. The best part of her day is being able to take classes; the next best thing is her excitement at receiving good grades demonstrating that her hard work has paid off. She plans to use her scholarship money to buy medical textbooks because she they are expensive and , if possible, to take time off from her job so that she can visit museums and see our beautiful country.

2013 Retiree Scholarship Recipient

Nigina Salimova
Major: Nursing

Ms. Nigina Salimova, a pre-clinical nursing student, came to the United States from Uzbekistan three years ago and entered high school speaking very little English. She appreciates being in America because she says that if she stayed in her home country she would never have had the opportunity to receive a higher education. Therefore, she is very serious about her studies and does her best to excel. She has a 3.95 cumulative grade point average and is a member of the Presidential Scholars Honors program and Phi Theta Kappa, the two-year honor society. She enjoys being at the college because of its helpful staff, wonderful faculty, and numerous extra-curricular activities; she particularly enjoys being a member of the ceramics club and frequently stays at the college until six or seven o'clock in the evening to study. Since her parents do not speak English and have difficulty finding jobs, she works on weekends at a Dunkin Donuts shop to help them make ends meet. She plans to use her scholarship money to stop working temporarily so that she can study to pass the nursing entrance exam this spring.

Daniella Policastro
Major: Liberal Arts

Ms. Danielle Policastro, is a Liberal Arts major who also plans to become a nursing major. She is one of thirteen children and is closest with one of her sisters who had a heart transplant at age twelve and spent sixteen months in the hospital. Being in the hospital with her and seeing how nurses helped her sister gave Danielle the desire to become a pediatric nurse. Given her sister's severe health problems, complicated more recently by lymphoma, she dropped out of high school to help care for her, her disabled mother, and father who now does not work because he has Parkinson's disease. Despite these circumstances, Danielle was able to earn a GED and comes to KCC each day with a smile because she is moving closer to entering the nursing program. Although she cannot take advantage of the many extracurricular activities the college offers because she has to go home after classes to help take care of her family, she has managed to earna 3.45 grade point average and truly enjoys her courses. She particularly loved the encouragement she got from her English professor, Carl Alaimo, who recognized her desire to write and motivated her to extend herself,rewarding her with a grade of A+ in ENG 24 for her effort. Coming from such a large family where she was never able to have many of the things she wanted, she plans to use the Retirees Scholarship money to help her purchase books and computer software that will help her prepare for the nursing entrance exam.

2012 Retiree Scholarship Recipient

Mushfica Masud
Major: Media Technology

A media technology and management major, came from Bangladesh by way of England, in search of career opportunities that she was denied in her homeland. She has a deep and abiding love for the college that she credits the faculty and staff of the CUNY Start program who made her feel "at home" in Kingsborough. She has become a CUNY Start Ambassador and now conducts orientation tours for people interested in entering the college through this program. She also feels that the faculty who work with her in broadcasting are preparing her well for transfer to Brooklyn College.

2012 Retiree Scholarship Recipient

Seytervin Seytgaziyev
Major: Business

A business major, who came to the US from Ukraine three years ago and graduated from James Madison High School. He works all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday to help his family meet their financial needs. Despite his demanding work schedule, he has managed to maintain an active life at Kingsborough, participating in the Presidential Scholars Honors program, the Honors Club, the Resources for Educational and Employment Opportunities (REEO) program and the Model National United Nations program. He plans to transfer to Brooklyn College to complete his undergraduate degree

2011 Retiree Scholarship Recipient

Shakhlo Azizova
Major: Education

Is an international student from Uzbekistan. She came to the US alone and not speaking English. After two years in the Kingsborough English Language Immersion(KELI)program, she entered Kingsborough as an education major and has excelled in her coursework, earning a 3.70 GPA. She hopes one day to become an elementary school teacher.

2011 Retiree Scholarship Recipient

Eric Hensley
Major: Broadcast Technology

A broadcast technology major, did not have the opportunity to go to college when he graduated from high school. He had to go to work land 20 years later found himself without a job that disappeared due to economic downturn. He decided to take advantage of this unexpected turn of events and enrolled in college. To his great surprise, he found the professors, students and staff at Kingsborough very welcoming and supportive. He is very pleased with education he has received to date and truly enjoys working with the broadcast faculty.

2010 Retiree Scholarship Recipient

Esther Arden
Major: Biology / Occupational Therapy

Esther originally worked in the computer software industry in Bombay, India before immigrating to New York and starting a family.  After a series of personal setbacks, including the loss of her first child, Esther realized that she needed to return to school in order to improve her professional position and make her mark on the world.  The easy choice would have been pursuing an IT-related field, but Esther wanted to leave an impact on people.   The now-single mother of a special-needs child observed how beneficial occupational therapy had been for her son.  Her passion inspired her to enroll in Kingsborough where she is currently pursuing a Biology major with an Occupational Therapy Transfer Option before moving on to obtain a Masters in Occupational Therapy.  Grateful for her scholarship, Esther smiled and said, Kingsborough offered me a new beginning.

2010 Retiree Scholarship Recipient

Dmitri Bochman
Major: Nursing

Dmitri is an international student from Israel who is currently majoring in nursing.  He worked as a paramedic in Israel and as medicine has always been a part of his life, it felt natural for Dmitri to pursue a nursing major upon registering at Kingsborough.  Dmitri works part-time in the Honors Program to support himself while maintaining a 4.0 GPA and is on the Deans List.  He is also a member of Phi Theta Kappa, the two year Community College National Honors Society, that encourages and promotes the academic achievement of two-year college students.  He values his KCC experience where he has received the support of faculty and staff who have helped him cultivate skills and abilities he had not realized he possessed prior to coming to KCC.  Dmitri believes that his Kingsborough experience will better prepare him to meet and exceed his future professional goals in the medical world.

2009 Retiree Scholarship Recipient

Raquel Hudson
Major: Tourism & Hospitality

Racquel Hudson always loved traveling and working with people which made Tourism and Hospitality the perfect field for her.  During her time as a KCC student, Racquel enjoyed participating in service projects at the college acting as a mentor to high school students in the Liberty Partnership Program, plus designing a prize-winning proposal to implement sustainability on campus.  She was also president of Phi Theta Kappa, the two year national honor society, and was keenly aware of how much the KCC Retiree Scholarship helped her.  She graduated in 2010 with honors and transferred to the Florida Institute of Technology where she is majoring in aeronautical management.

2009 Retiree Scholarship Recipient

Pyi Kyaw
Major: Business Administration

Pyi Kyaw, an international student, chose Kingsborough after finding through his research that it was one of the best community colleges for English as a Second Language.  After immigrating to the United States from Burma with his family, he began his life at the college working hard to improve his speaking and writing abilities.  Pyi was President of the College Discovery club, and it was at KCC that he delivered a speech in English for the first time.  The KCC Retiree Scholarship helped Pyi during difficult economic times, providing funds for tuition and books.  Pyi graduated in 2010 and transferred to Baruch College where he is majoring in International Marketing Management.