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Jessica Paz...

-Jessica Paz

Some are drawn to the City College by its exciting New York City location. Some are attracted to the Towers, the on-campus dormitory that opened in 2006. Others are drawn to the distinctive neo-Gothic style of the buildings, the first in the United States to be built in such a design; this was part of the allure for Jessica Paz, an architecture major who is about to enter her senior year.

She left her native Peru shortly after graduating from high school and came directly to the Big Apple to pursue a strong interest in architecture. She recounts that in her hometown, the tallest building had only thirty floors. In New York, there was only one thing standing in the way of pursuing her dream: she first needed to learn English. She studied the language relentlessly for two years, exploring the city all the while. Eventually, she found the courage to enroll at CCNY, where she had heard great things about the architecture department. Soon, she felt right at home. “As soon as you enter the campus, you feel you’re in a different place,” Jessica states enthusiastically. “It gives you a sense of confidence. Also, the professors are dedicated to teaching and are active in their field.”

She was undaunted by the long hours required of an architecture student, often sleeping in classrooms overnight while completing assignments. Jessica managed to find balance in her grueling schedule by working out at the College’s state-of-the-art gym and dancing in the free salsa class offered on-campus. A generous scholarship, funded by alumnus Maurice Barbash, CCNY Class of 1946, ensured that Jessica would not need to worry about tuition bills in addition to her studies. A focused and driven young woman, she plans to work for an elite architectural firm, preferably one in green design, before establishing a firm of her own. The City College has opened up a whole new world for the idealistic student. Without a doubt, Jessica will, in turn, help to make it a more creative and environmentally sound world.




Chike Onyema...

-Chike Onyema

It all began with a childhood passion. “Ever since I was little, I was obsessed with cars. When I see something, I like to know what’s inside. It used to get me in trouble a lot as a kid.” These are the words of Chike Onyema, a genial and motivated student at The City College of New York. On the advice of a beloved uncle, who had also attended, Chike traveled thirteen hours from Lagos, Nigeria to fulfill his dream of studying mechanical engineering. He is currently a senior.

Chike soon found his niche here at the College. He became a member of the Nigerian Club, and the NSBE Club (National Society for Black Engineers). He also plans to join a new club, which focuses on building green cars that use as little gasoline as possible. As with the majority of our students, Chike faced great financial hardship while struggling to make ends meet. He worked three jobs simultaneously. His very first paycheck, however, came from The City College Fund, where he is still employed. His strong work ethic and good grades earned him a prestigious scholarship, funded by alumnus Maurice Barbash, CCNY Class of 1946. “It made last semester very easy for me,” Chike says. “The money went a long way, and I appreciate it a lot.”

Chike will remain at the College to pursue his Master’s degree. “City College is the environment I have known for the past few years,” Chike states. “It’s been good to me, so I’ll stick with it all the way.” Afterwards, he plans to find work in the motor industry. If not, he will either start his own company, or nurture a website he began with a friend, courseauditor.com, where students can get tutored via webcam. Regardless of the path he chooses, Chike is sure to be successful. This is not only because of his will intelligence and talent, but also the fact that these abilities were fostered in a close-knit environment that became a home away from home. This support is crucial for students who often don’t have relatives living in the U.S., as was the case with Chike. His story, and the stories of many others like him, are those upon which the legacy of the College was built. With your help, this legacy can continue indefinitely. With your help, Chike and other deserving students will be able to fulfill their dreams.







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