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Office for College Advancement



When you make a gift to Kingsborough Community College you are making an investment in the future. Your gift will provide critical financial support for students and enrich their college experience.

We are proud to present a selection of scholarship recipients who explain how your investment in their future allowed them to pursue their education at Kingsborough.We invite you to meet our students.

Student Profiles

Asaph Charles

Asaph Charles
2017-18 CUNYAC Scholar-Athlete of the Year; Health, Physical Education and Recreation Award 
Major: Accounting

“I push myself to work as hard in the classroom as much as I do on the basketball court. As a student-athlete, you must learn to adapt in basketball the same way you must adapt in the classroom. It has also taught me to put my all into everything I embark on.”

Dahlia Rodriguez

Dahlia Rodriguez
Dr. Frances Kraljic-Curran Liberal Arts Scholarship Award; President's Award for Distinguished Scholarship 
Major: Liberal Arts

“Thanks to Kingsborough, a single mother of two beautiful children kept her house and kept her college dream. Thanks to Kingsborough, a non-traditional student became the first member of her family to ever graduate college. And thanks to you, this dream endures for countless students just like me.”

Kira Charles

Kira Charles

Gladys Brooks Foundation Scholarship for Student Leadership & Academic Excellence Award
Major: Criminal Justice

Kira Charles is living proof that there are second acts in higher education. After an arduous experience at her first university, Kira was determined to bounce back: “I came back from college and spoke with my old high school guidance counselor. Due to stress, my college grades were poor at the time, but my counselor believed in me and fought tooth and nail to get me into KCC.” Despite her initial apprehension, Kira hit the ground running and made the most of a fresh start. Today, Kira is President of the Debate Club, a member of Student Government, and a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society. As a Criminal Justice major, Kira has her sights set on a career in civil rights law, with potential designs on elected office: “I was so grateful to be a recipient of the Gladys Brooks Scholarship. Whatever success I enjoy will be in large part attributed to them.”

Pongkhun Bukaew

Pongkhun Bukaew 
Southpole Foundation Scholarship 
Major: Liberal Arts

After making the journey from Thailand to Brooklyn, Pongkhun Bukaew began his KCC career as a Retail Merchandising Major. A few semesters later, though, he switched gears: “although I was about to graduate, I was becoming more and more interested in psychology.” Now a Liberal Arts major, Pongkhun points to his experience as a KCC Peer Mentor as a turning point: “working with fellow ESL students really opened my eyes to their needs, and has increased my interest in mental health and counseling.” After graduating, the Honors student intends to pursue his newfound passion, hoping to one day work as a high school psychologist. In the meantime, Pongkhun is grateful for the help he has received along the way: “as an international student, I do not receive any financial aid. The Southpole Foundation Scholarship has provided me both the finances and the confidence I need to succeed.”

Bin ChenBin Chen
Yuet Chun & Tai Yee Ma Endowed Memorial Scholarship

Major: Education Studies

Like many international students, Bin often has to work twice as hard to achieve what other, native-born students may take for granted: “English is my second language, so a lot of times I have to draft my essays many times to do what someone else could do on the first try.” Her hard work has more than paid off, as she currently holds a 3.9 GPA and is set to graduate this fall. She is particularly grateful to Professor Elroy Esdaille (Eng 24), a mentor who has encouraged her to pursue her dream of becoming a teacher. Bin is also the inaugural recipient of the Yuet Chun & Tai Yee Ma Memorial Scholarship, an award that honors students who achieve success while also acclimating to a new city, culture and way of life: “students who are new to America and new to the language need all the help they can get. Scholarships inspire us to make that extra effort.” 

Basia Jessie GrossBasia “Jessie” Gross 
National Grid Scholarship and Internship Award 

Major: Accounting

For many children, Tetris is a dizzying gauntlet of fast-moving puzzles that can often prove overwhelming. For Jessie Gross, though, Tetris sparked her lifelong interest in business and accounting: “my ultimate goal is to use to my knowledge to help people navigate their finances.” At KCC, Jessie has fully immersed herself in the academic experience, joining the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society and the National Grid CXM Academy. This year, Jessie was selected as the 2018 National Grid Scholar-Intern after a highly competitive selection process. The summer internship will provide Jessie an opportunity to learn at the ground floor of the industry and further develop her already-considerable skills. “I had been out of school for 10 years before coming to Kingsborough. I am so proud of my achievements, but I know I could not have excelled without the guidance and mentorship I received here.”

Austin-Tyler LedermanAustin-Tyler Lederman 
Carroll and Milton Petrie Student Emergency Grant Fund 
Major: Accounting

Austin-Tyler first identified his passion for accounting in the driver’s seat of a taxicab: “It all started very simply, as I learned to file 1099’s and other forms. But I became very interested, and soon I was counseling friends about how to file their taxes.” At Kingsborough, Austin-Tyler excels by day as the President of the Accounting Society, while continuing to moonlight as a taxi driver to pay for school. Yet when his cab broke down earlier this year, he saw both his livelihood and his academic career flash before his eyes. Fortunately, Austin-Tyler acquired a lifeline via the Carroll and Milton Petrie Emergency Grant Fund: “thanks to this grant, I was able to fix my car, which meant I could stay in school, pay my rent, and stay on track.Otherwise I would have had to drop out, or possibly face eviction.” After Kingsborough, the future CPA plans to continue his Accounting Studies at Baruch College. 

 Frank Orefice

Frank Orefice 
Rachelle Goldsmith College Now Honors Award; Walters-Doerhman Scholarship 
Major: Computer Science

Like many students across the country, Frank Orefice entered college with a well-defined fear of math: “For as long as I can remember, I’ve been interested in science and technology. But math was always standing in my way.” Thanks to his Kingsborough professors, Frank has not only mastered this once-daunting subject, but has flourished across the board. In addition to being named a Presidential Scholar, he has also been involved in the CUNY Research Scholars Programs, handling the computational side of the research: “the great thing about Kingsborough professors is that they meet you where you are. They understand your needs and help you get to where you need to be.” After Kingsborough, Frank plans to continue studying Computer Science and to one day work as a Software Engineer: “As a full-time student, it’s very difficult for me to finance my education. The scholarships I received have kept me on track towards my goals.”

Zaire Anderson PortierZaire Anderson Portier
Charles Jacobs Scholarship for the Performing Arts 
Major: Theatre Arts

For Zaire Anderson Portier, to be an actor is to be a storyteller: “When I’m on stage, I can tell stories that need to be told, but often aren’t, because the people those stories belong to are marginalized or overlooked by society.” At Kingsborough, he has found a nurturing environment in the Theater Arts department and has appeared in several productions on campus, most notably in Jesus Hopped the A Train. He credits his evolution as an actor in large part to professors like Ryan McKinney, who he praises for his ability to work well with students from all walks of life. After Kingsborough, Zaire plans to pursue a BFA in theatre and later embark on a flourishing career as a working actor: “Theater is a way for us to express our triumphs and heartbreaks in life. I thank the scholarship committee for believing in my talents and helping me to continue pursuing my calling.” 

Luis RomeroLuis Romero
Avid Technology Most Promising Video Editor Award, Post NY Alliance Scholarship 
Major:Media Arts

Luis Romero did not have to travel far from home to discover his passion: “My father introduced me to visual art through photography and film. Working around people who are involved in this industry, I got a chance to meet them and this gave me aspirations for my future.” Luis has since taken his passion to KCC, where he has greatly enjoyed learning from professors like John Acosta (Media Production), Samuel Taitt (Television Production) and Cliff Hesse (Radio Operations). Outside of school, he continues to hone his craft through work in photography/cinematography, and after KCC plans to continue building up his portfolio. This Fall, Luis will be attending Brooklyn College, but even now he is thinking several steps ahead: “My ultimate goal is to become a cinematographer and continue to learn and master the craft of motion picture. ”Thanks to the support and recognition he has received at KCC, Luis’ dreams are well within reach. 

Iffat Tariq Iffat Tariq
Walter and Maryann Kann Scholarship 
Major: Biotechnology

Iffat Tariq knows more than most about defying expectations: “where I come from, girls are married by age 16. I am the only girl from my village to avoid that fate, let alone go to college.” Moving from Dubai to Brooklyn, Iffat has found in Kingsborough the perfect launching pad for her once-improbable dream of attending college: “I chose Kingsborough for its Biotechnology program, but I have gotten so much more in return. Professors like Mary Ortiz and Katia Perea are not just my teachers—they’re my role models.” Outside of the classroom, she is a member of the Biotechnology Club, the IGEM Club and Phi Theta Kappa. As she looks forward to her future career, Iffat is grateful for the help she has received along the way: “The Kann Scholarship was the first scholarship I have ever received. I would love to thank the donors, and show them just how much they have helped me. I must also thank my parents, who took a chance on my dreams and supported me every step of the way.” 

Zonika TraceyZonika Tracey
KCC Retirees Scholarship 
Major: Nursing

Originally from Jamaica, Zonika Tracey came to the United States to pursue a nursing career. 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 and works in the department of HPE&R and the Performing Arts Center as a student aide. This spring, Zonika was also named the 2018 winner of the KCC Retirees Scholarship: “This scholarship was definitely a reminder for me of how lucky I am to be here. It goes to show the character of those who serve here and further reinforces how truly special the members of this community are. It is definitely a challenge to come up with money for tuition, travel and personal expenses so this scholarship will allow me to breathe easier going forward.”