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:
We invite you to meet current and previous Retiree Scholarship Recipients:
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
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
2016 Retiree Scholarship RecipientGillian RobertsMajor: Liberal ArtsA liberal arts major with a 3.69 GPA who one day aspires to be a researchscientist in pharmaceutical field, Gillian came to the United States fromJamaica in February 2014 to be reunited with her husband and ten-year-oldson. Always someone who likes to plan ahead, she expected to be able towork as a pharmacy technician while she settled into her new life. To hergreat dismay, she found that the degrees she earned in Jamaica were notaccepted in this country, so she took a minimum wage job and applied toseveral 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 settingby the water which reminds her of her island home, values the unity shesees among the diverse groups of students, and appreciates the supportiveand pleasant attitudes of faculty and staff. She feels that Kingsboroughprovides a level of customer service and pride not generally found in thewider public. Despite working 20 hrs. per week at an off-campus job, shehas found time to become an Honors Representative Student Aide working witha professor from the Behavioral Sciences department who is conducting aresearch study. She also was invited to join Phi Theta Kappa, the two-yearhonor society for two-year colleges, and the National Society of Leadershipand Success. She plans to use the scholarship money to help cover the costof attending Kingsborough because despite receiving Federal Student Aidgrants that help her with tuition, she finds that she is constantlyconsumed with thinking about how to provide life’s basic necessities forherself and her family, thus every penny counts. As the first member ofher family to enroll in college, she hopes to serve as a beacon for heryounger relatives and son, showing them that determination and hard workare the keys to success. Gillian expects to graduate in June 2017 andwonders how she will ever be able to say good-bye to this “beautifultreasure by the sea.” She now feels that attending Kingsborough “was thebest decision I ever made.”2015 Retiree Scholarship RecipientMichelle YedinMajor: JournalismMichelle is a journalism major with a 4.0 GPA who one day aspires to be abroadcaster. She arrived at Kingsborough in September 2014, upon graduatingfrom James Madison H.S, embarrassed to tell anyone that she was attending acommunity college. She had set her sights on the Ivy League, and when shewasn’t accepted to any of the colleges to which she had applied, she wasextremely disappointed. Given the fact that her father was unemployed dueto health problems, she felt that KCC was an affordable option and her lastresort. After attending Kingsborough for only two weeks, her perception ofthe college, herself, and community college in general changed. She beganto appreciate the unique opportunities that Kingsborough offers its diversestudent population. She realized that instead of her educational pathending at the community college, it was just beginning. In her firstsemester, she became a member of the Presidential Scholars program andenrolled in several rigorous honors classes. During the second semester,she became a staff writer for the student newspaper Scepter and the Honorsnewsletter The Extra Mile. She also won one of only twelve seats awarded tooutstanding KCC students to represent the college at the annual NationalModel United Nations program held in Manhattan each spring. Mostimportantly, she was impressed by the high caliber of teaching in herclasses and was inspired by professors like Eben Wood from the Englishdepartment who helped renew her confidence in herself and improve herwriting. Michelle is now proud to be a student at Kingsborough and wants tohelp spread the word to high school students that the college is not the“13th grade.” She plans to use the money from the Retirees scholarship tohelp reduce the financial stress on her family by covering some of the costof next year’s tuition.2014 Retiree Scholarship RecipientMingsing ChiMajor: NursingMingsing Chi, also known as Rachel, came to the U.S. three years ago, notspeaking a word of English. She attended Fort Hamilton H.S. and upongraduation entered KCC's ESL program in September 2012. Her verbal skillsare excellent, as is her comprehension of spoken English, and she hasearned an impressive cumulative GPA of 3.775. She seeks to become a nursingmajor. We were impressed by the fact that although she works a part- timejob to help out her mother and two younger sisters (her father passed awayfive years ago), and is very involved in the Chinese Student Association,she studies science books written in Chinese as well as English to insurethat 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 inboth languages so that she can continue to excel in her studies. She likesKingsborough because of the beautiful views, free breakfasts offered byStudent Life during the first week of classes and during finals week, andthe ability to take winter and summer course work for the price of fall orspring tuition.Lika NakaniMajor: NursingLika is in the U.S. for three years. She is from the country of Georgia andhas no family here; she lives in Brighton Beach and shares an apartmentwith two other Georgians. She worked full-time in order to take care ofherself and help her family back home. Every day when she went to work, shesaw students waiting for the KCC school bus and thought they were theluckiest people in the world because they could attend college. Despite theexhaustion of working ten hours a day, seven days a week, she decided topursue her dream of being a nurse and began to take courses atKingsborough. She joined the Presidential Scholars Honors program and hasexcelled, earning a 3.863 GPA. The best part of her day is being able totake classes; the next best thing is her excitement at receiving goodgrades demonstrating that her hard work has paid off. She plans to use herscholarship money to buy medical textbooks because she they are expensiveand , if possible, to take time off from her job so that she can visitmuseums and see our beautiful country.2013 Retiree Scholarship RecipientNigina SalimovaMajor: NursingMs. Nigina Salimova, a pre-clinical nursing student, came to the UnitedStates from Uzbekistan three years ago and entered high school speakingvery little English. She appreciates being in America because she says thatif she stayed in her home country she would never have had the opportunityto receive a higher education. Therefore, she is very serious about herstudies and does her best to excel. She has a 3.95 cumulative grade pointaverage and is a member of the Presidential Scholars Honors program and PhiTheta Kappa, the two-year honor society. She enjoys being at the collegebecause of its helpful staff, wonderful faculty, and numerousextra-curricular activities; she particularly enjoys being a member of theceramics club and frequently stays at the college until six or seveno’clock in the evening to study. Since her parents do not speak English andhave difficulty finding jobs, she works on weekends at a Dunkin Donuts shopto help them make ends meet. She plans to use her scholarship money to stopworking temporarily so that she can study to pass the nursing entrance examthis spring.Daniella PolicastroMajor: Liberal ArtsMs. Danielle Policastro, is a Liberal Arts major who also plans to become anursing major. She is one of thirteen children and is closest with one ofher sisters who had a heart transplant at age twelve and spent sixteenmonths in the hospital. Being in the hospital with her and seeing hownurses helped her sister gave Danielle the desire to become a pediatricnurse. Given her sister’s severe health problems, complicated more recentlyby lymphoma, she dropped out of high school to help care for her, herdisabled mother, and father who now does not work because he hasParkinson’s disease. Despite these circumstances, Danielle was able to earna GED and comes to KCC each day with a smile because she is moving closerto entering the nursing program. Although she cannot take advantage of themany extracurricular activities the college offers because she has to gohome 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 particularlyloved 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 sucha large family where she was never able to have many of the things shewanted, she plans to use the Retirees Scholarship money to help herpurchase books and computer software that will help her prepare for thenursing entrance exam.
Retiree Scholarship Recipient
Mushfica MasudMajor: 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.
Retiree Scholarship RecipientSeytervin SeytgaziyevMajor: 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
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
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 ArdenMajor: 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 RecipientDmitri BochmanMajor: 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 HudsonMajor: 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.
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.