The College of Staten Island (CSI) helps students in “finding their passion” by hosting a fun and informative interactive workshop presented by local community leaders Charles LaGanga and Dr. Mohammad Khalid.

LaGanga, managing director of Direct Access Partners, LLC, is a 2004 Ellis Island Medal of Honor winner, which is presented to outstanding Americans who preserve and enhance the values of a particular heritage group. Dr. Khalid has been a dentist on Staten Island for over 20 years and is the president of the Iron Hills Association and president of the Pakistani Civic Association, and has served as a mayorial appointment on the charter revision committee for the City of New York and on other community boards.

The workshop, which is part of CSI’s Emerging Leaders Program, is entitled “Finding Your Passion” and helps students to identify those things in life that they are passionate about. Students are then encouraged to take this passion and put it to use in the development of their CSI Leadership Project, a community service oriented activity.

Originally presented to the Fall 2004 class, LaGanga and Khalid have been brought back presentation for the Spring 2005 class based upon “an overwhelming response” from last semester’s students, according to Carl Stiles, the associate director of Student Life at the Willowbrook college.

This year they will be joined by special guest Richard Bruno, a Deputy Inspector with the 120th Precinct of the New York Police Department. The workshop will take place Thursday, January 20th at 7:00 pm in the Green Dolphin Lounge in the Campus Center (1C) at the College of Staten Island.

“The opportunity for students today is tremendous. Learning from people who have been there and done that and want to make a change is what it is all about,” said LaGanga when asked about his experience with last year’s workshop presentation. “Community service is very good for everyone. CSI provides the bridge between the students and community.”

The College of Staten Island ’s Emerging Leaders Program provides over 25 students per semester with the opportunity to gain insight into the ideals and practices of leadership through a series of workshop sessions. It is focused on leadership skills, community awareness, and self-exploration and assessment. The college’s “premier leadership program” is open to all CSI students with a grade point average greater than 3.0, Stiles noted.