Irma K. Cruz Velez is making a difference and contributing to the greater good…will you?
“My number-one priority has been getting an education and contributing to my community any way I can.” The Aramis Gonzalo Rios Memorial Scholarship, funded by a generous donor, helps to make it possible for first-generation immigrants and community service-oriented students like Irma K. Cruz Velez ’16 to attend the College of Staten Island and create a world of opportunity. Some of her contributions include: interning for social service programs aimed at tackling violence, substance abuse, and immigrant and gender rights volunteering to translate for the New York City Municipal ID program teaching early childhood Spanish language acquisition at a Staten Island Montessori school organizing and leading a Summer Youth Leadership Summit for teens assisting families impacted by Superstorm Sandy, providing referrals for essential services Irma is an outstanding student who plans to be an English as a Second Language, Spanish, and Special Education teacher. “I feel strongly that I will be an incalculable asset to our city as an energetic leader who guides young minds of the next generation.” She is certainly an asset to CSI.
To read more about CSI alumni, check out Eye on CSI.
Life got in the way for William Carey near the end of WWII when he put his plans for a college degree on hold and enlisted into the U.S. Army as an Infantryman.
After decades of service to his country, and with the help of the Military Services Scholarship awarded to him by the College of Staten Island Veterans Support Services program, Mr. Carey’s journey to a Bachelor’s degree comes to fruition Spring 2016 as he plans to graduate with a History Degree in American Studies at the age of 87.
The journey has been filled with many pitfalls and adventures. After a severe injury during cold weather military training in Colorado, Mr. Carey was honorably discharged from the Armed Forces and became an officer with the New York Police Department, retiring after 22 years. He then worked as a Deputy Marshal and after that as a salesman. His dream of earning a Bachelors’ Degree ignited again a few years ago when he decided to take courses at Kingsborough Community College, earning two Associate’s Degrees.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0bnHjpMIc4[/youtube]In Summer 2014, with an eye on his baccalaureate, Carey toured the College of Staten Island campus. He visited the Veterans Support Services Center and enrolled for CSI’s Winter Session.
It is at CSI where Mr. Carey’s dedication to his mission is evident. He travels from Brooklyn via Access-A-Ride through all types of weather—even during the harsh winter storms that emptied campus, Bill Carey was present and ready to learn. He hand writes all of his papers since he is unable to use the computer and even Summer Session classes this year to ensure a 2016 commencement. Everything about how he conducts himself on campus serves as an example of how important receiving a CSI education is to him.
“He is on a mission,” commented Jen Pizzuto of the CUNY Start Continuing Education Center, and “His dedication is an inspiration to the students he encounters.”
“Veterans Support Services is so proud of Bill,” added Ann Treadaway, Director for Veterans Support Services, “and I thank the contribution of our faculty, students and Veterans Educational Transition Services staff that have been such a huge part of making this possible.”
Along with awarding Mr. Carey with the Military Service Scholarship, which is administered by the CSI Foundation, Veterans Support Services collaborates with his professors and staff to ensure that Bill has full access to all of the resources he needs to complete his mission. They also aid him with getting his textbooks, printing copies, as well as filling out all necessary forms.
Treadaway hopes that the funds can be raised in order to continue awarding the Military Services Scholarship yearly to aid a former service member to accomplish the same mission that William Carey is on—one that all men and women who have served in our military deserve. “The Military Service Scholarship will serve as an opportunity for more veterans like Bill to have a chance to enrich our campus and serve as an excellent example of what dedication, hard work, and following your dreams, no matter how long they take to come true to our students.”
The Military Service Scholarship will awarded yearly to a military veteran who was honorably discharged and is no longer eligible for state or federal benefits to attend college. The student must be enrolled fulltime and have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and have served at least three years.