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THANK YOU FOR A SUCCESSFUL FALL! Thank you for reading the Fall 2016 issue of the Mount Vernon Extension Newsletter. Our featured student in this issue is Johnnie Asibuo, an honor student who is involved in student activities and works as a tutor at the Mount Vernon Academic Support Center. Also in the spotlight is Project Transition, a program funded by the Department of Labor designed to provide skills to displaced homemakers seeking to enter the workforce. This issue also celebrates the exciting events hosted by the Mount Vernon Activities Club. Be sure to read more about the Mount Vernon Film Festival, activities celebrating the Common Read, and our spotlight on English as a Second Language student, Nazar Derii. Finally, see where the Mount Vernon Extension Center team has been spotted in the community this semester. Thank you for your readership and enjoy this issue! STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: JOHNNIE ASIBUO Our students at Westchester Community College are as diverse and inspiring as they come, and it is our greatest pleasure to celebrate our studentssuccesses. Meet Johnnie Asibuo, an exemplary student whose story is a testament to perseverance and positivity. Johnnie studies Business Administration, is involved in student activities, and even tutors at the Mount Vernon Academic Support Center. My goal is to transfer and get my bachelors degree in global business after I graduate,she explains. I want to help businesses in other countries manage their scarce resources. I will know how to set up and manage successful businesses so that they contribute to the growth of their economies.Having spent most of her school years in Ghana, Johnnie knew she wanted to pursue higher education in New York. She initially came to WCC because of its reputation. It was hard to adjust to a new environment, but she didnt let that stop her. My first semester, I was failing Precalculus,she remembers. I made a decision to succeed, so I started visiting the Mount Vernon Academic Support Center and met my favorite tutor, Inesa, who was a WCC graduate. This was undoubtedly a key to my success – you have to ask for help, and you have to be willing to do the work.She not only passed the class, but now Johnnie is a straight-A student and is a math tutor as well. My favorite subject to tutor is pre-algebra, because students tend to really struggle. I remember what that was like, so I want to give back,Johnnie says. With a full course load and while working as a tutor, Johnnie still finds time to be involved in other activities at WCC. She is Co-Secretary of the Mount Vernon Activities Club, a member of the business honors society, and is in the Honors Program. She thinks back to her first semester at WCC and tells us, Prof. David Fritz was the professor for my first course, ENG 101, and the course was so different than what I ... Continued on page 4 17 S. Fifth Avenue, Mount Vernon 9146067200 INSIDE THIS ISSUE Student Spotlight: Johnnie Asibuo …………………………… 1 The Mount Vernon Extension Center Hosts: Mount Vernon Film Festival ...................... 2 Introducing Project Transition .......................... 2 Out and About: Spotted in Mount Vernon .................... 2 English as a Second Language: Spotlight on Nazar Derii…… 3 Common Read at Mount Vernon …………………………… 3 Sponsored by MVAC: For Students, By Students ......... 4 Westchester Community College Mount Vernon Fall 2016 Newsletter WCC is for everyoneIf you are focused on success, thats exactly what you will get.
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Westchester Community College Mount Vernon Fall 2016 ...€¦ · and Senior Technical Assistant Araceli Soriano answer questions about the college at the New Rochelle Street Fair.

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  • THANK YOU FOR A SUCCESSFUL FALL!

    Thank you for reading the Fall 2016 issue of the Mount Vernon Extension Newsletter. Our

    featured student in this issue is Johnnie Asibuo, an honor student who is involved in

    student activities and works as a tutor at the Mount Vernon Academic Support Center.

    Also in the spotlight is Project Transition, a program funded by the Department of Labor

    designed to provide skills to displaced homemakers seeking to enter the workforce. This

    issue also celebrates the exciting events hosted by the Mount Vernon Activities Club. Be

    sure to read more about the Mount Vernon Film Festival, activities celebrating the

    Common Read, and our spotlight on English as a Second Language student, Nazar Derii.

    Finally, see where the Mount Vernon Extension Center team has been spotted in the

    community this semester. Thank you for your readership and enjoy this issue!

    STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: JOHNNIE ASIBUO Our students at Westchester Community College are as diverse and inspiring as they come, and it is our greatest pleasure to celebrate our students’ successes. Meet Johnnie Asibuo, an exemplary student whose story is a testament to perseverance and positivity. Johnnie studies Business Administration, is involved in student activities, and even tutors at the Mount Vernon Academic Support Center. “My goal is to transfer and get my bachelor’s degree in global business after I graduate,” she explains. “I want to help businesses in other countries manage their scarce resources. I will know how to set up and manage successful businesses so that they contribute to the growth of their economies.”

    Having spent most of her school years in Ghana, Johnnie knew she wanted to pursue

    higher education in New York. She initially came to WCC because of its reputation. It was

    hard to adjust to a new environment, but she didn’t let that stop her. “My first semester, I

    was failing Precalculus,” she remembers. “I made a decision to succeed, so I started visiting

    the Mount Vernon Academic Support Center and met my favorite tutor, Inesa, who was a

    WCC graduate. This was undoubtedly a key to my success – you have to ask for help, and

    you have to be willing to do the work.” She not only passed the class, but now Johnnie is a

    straight-A student and is a math tutor as well. “My favorite subject to tutor is pre-algebra,

    because students tend to really struggle. I remember what that was like, so I want to give

    back,” Johnnie says. With a full course load and while working as a tutor, Johnnie still

    finds time to be involved in other activities at WCC. She is Co-Secretary of the Mount

    Vernon Activities Club, a member of the business honors society, and is in the Honors

    Program. She thinks back to her first semester at WCC and tells us, “Prof. David Fritz was

    the professor for my first course, ENG 101, and the course was so different than what I ...

    Continued on page 4

    17 S. Fifth Avenue, Mount Vernon ∙ 914—606—7200

    INSIDE THIS ISSUE Student Spotlight: Johnnie Asibuo …………………………… 1

    The Mount Vernon Extension Center Hosts: Mount Vernon Film Festival ...................... 2

    Introducing Project Transition .......................... 2

    Out and About: Spotted in Mount Vernon .................... 2

    English as a Second Language: Spotlight on Nazar Derii…… 3

    Common Read at Mount Vernon …………………………… 3

    Sponsored by MVAC: For Students, By Students ......... 4

    Westchester Community College

    Mount Vernon

    Fall 2016 Newsletter

    “WCC is for everyone…If you are focused on success, that’s exactly what you will get.”

  • The Mount Vernon Extension Center hosts:

    MOUNT VERNON FILM FESTIVAL

    From September 22 through 26, the

    Mount Vernon Extension Center

    hosted the third annual Mount

    Vernon Film Festival. The festival

    draws local, international, and

    independent filmmakers. Both

    featured films and shorts are shown.

    Mount Vernon Film Festival

    founder and producer, Osiris

    Imhotep, is a filmmaker and

    educator who believes that film

    exposes viewers to new perspectives

    and possibilities, and serves as a

    way to connect the world. He also

    believes that there is a natural

    synergy between film and

    education. This year, he offered free

    submission for student-made films

    as well as free admission to the

    festival for WCC students. Included

    in this year’s festival was an

    afternoon of workshops and panels

    with Imhotep that were designed to

    provide youth attendees with the

    knowledge and skills to be creative

    and successful filmmakers and

    change agents in their fields.

    The festival attracted over 60 submissions and diverse members of the Mount Vernon community. We congratulate all award winners and filmmakers, and look forward to supporting next year’s festival.

    This semester, the Mount Vernon Extension Center hosted a cohort of Project Transition, a grant-funded program through the New York State Department of Labor. The program provides training for displaced homemakers or eligible individuals who have been caring for family members and have lost their means of support. The program is intensive. It focuses on computer skills like MS Office and QuickBooks as well as soft skills like resume writing, business writing and oral communication. Alice Walsh, WCC Program Specialist for Project Transition, explains that the program equips students with the “basic skills for communications, computer programs and office management.” Graduates from previous cohorts are employed in fields ranging from medicine to insurance to advertising.

    Students are selected for the program based on eligibility criteria as well as an interview. For some, the goal will be to obtain their first job outside of the home. Others are seeking to re-enter the workforce after as many as 20 years. The program represents an opportunity for students who otherwise may not be capable of obtaining formal employment on their own.

    For many graduates, Project Transition isn’t only about getting a job. Alice Walsh explains that many graduates of the program go on to enroll in classes or degree programs. This is true for both Sally Hall and Angie Tome, two students in the Mount Vernon cohort who plan to take classes after completing the program. Angie shares, “I’ll definitely look into classes at WCC. It’s intimidating, but I’ve realized that it’s possible. College isn’t just for 20-somethings; it’s for everyone.”

    Project Transition provides students with the skills they need to re-enter the workforce and also sparks an interest in pursuing education. But the impact of the program goes even deeper. “I think Project Transition has already had an impact on my life,” Sally tells us, “by reminding me that I am more than a mom and a wife, and that there is a whole ‘me’ that I can now focus on.” Angie has three daughters, and wants to model being an independent income earner while still putting family first. “I want them to see that they have choices, and that they don’t even have to choose – they can do it all,” she tells us.

    Students come to Project Transition from many walks of life and with many positive experiences to share. What they have in common is that they are deeply impacted by this 8-week program. Whether graduates obtain jobs, continue to pursue higher education, experience personal transformations, or any combination of the three, they owe part of their success to Project Transition. But mostly, they earned it through hard work and perseverance.

    INTRODUCING: PROJECT TRANSITION

    Angie Tome and Sally Hall pose in the lobby of the

    Mount Vernon Extension Center

    OUT AND

    ABOUT:

    The Mount Vernon

    Extension Center

    Team is all around

    town! See where

    they’ve been spotted

    this semester.

    Sergeant Carpenter (left) of the Mount Vernon Police

    Department and Francine Carl (right) pose with

    Frances Wynn and Delia Farquharson of My Brother’s

    Keeper, a community initiative, and are regular visitors

    at the Mount Vernon Extension Center.

    Director Francine Carl and Asst. Director

    Janna Gullery at Mount Vernon’s annual

    Arts on Third Festival.

    (Photo credit: Mount Vernon Inquirer)

  • Student Katie Mason with Administrative Assistant Kristen Payton at Mount Vernon’s

    Summer Breeze Concert series. Students in the

    Entrepreneurship Summer Academy sell their

    products to learn about profit margins.

    COMMON READ AT MOUNT VERNON

    Sponsored by the Mount Vernon Academic Support Center

    Every year, Westchester Community College celebrates the Common Read as a way for students to gain a new perspective about the power of the human spirit and their own resilience, and as a cornerstone of the First Year Experience. The 2016-2017 selection, The Skin Between Us by Kym Ragusa, explores themes of race, difference, family, and belonging. The book serves as a foundation for a series of events ranging from coursework to a “Walk and Roll” race around campus, book discussions, and a campus visit from the author.

    The Mount Vernon Academic Support Center (MVASC) facilitates Common Read programming at the Mount Vernon Extension Center every year.

    This year, the MVASC raffled off 20 copies of the book to students and facilitated a book discussion. Congratulations to raffle winners and thank you to students who participated in the compelling book discussion!

    Students at the book discussion pose

    with copies of The Skin Between Us

    WCC security guard Jared Norman (right)

    poses with Sgt. Carpenter (left) of the Mount

    Vernon Police Department, who coordinates

    the 21st Century Policing Initiative, a challenge

    posed by President Obama and accepted by

    the City of Mount Vernon.

    Administrative Assistant Kristen Payton

    and Senior Technical Assistant Araceli

    Soriano answer questions about the

    college at the New Rochelle Street Fair.

    Both are proud WCC graduates!

    ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE: SPOTLIGHT ON NAZAR DERII

    One of the most celebrated elements of Westchester

    County is its diversity. Between 2010 and 2014, the

    US Census estimated that one out of every four

    Westchester residents was foreign-born. For many,

    learning English is a critical beginning step to

    building a life here. The English Language Institute

    (ELI) of Westchester Community College serves over

    5,000 English as a Second Language (ESL) students

    per year, more than any other educational institution

    in the county. Students represent over 100 countries,

    adding to the rich diversity in the county. The ELI

    offers six levels of ESL instruction at thirteen

    locations throughout the county, including the Mount

    Vernon Extension Center.

    Nazar Derii is one of those students. Originally from

    Ukraine, Nazar dreamed of coming to the US since he

    was 15. When he finally arrived to join his father

    about a year and a half ago, he knew it would be

    important to learn English in order to succeed in the US. Both his brother and his friends

    had taken classes at Westchester Community College, and they highly recommended that

    he enroll in the ESL program. “The Mount Vernon Extension Center is very conveniently

    located near my home and job, so I was very excited to find a class that met my needs here,”

    he recalls. Having learned some English in Ukraine, he was placed into level 3. “It was

    challenging to practice what I was learning in class while I was at my job, but I knew how

    important it was to do so,” he tells us.

    Learning English is a gateway to many other opportunities for students in the ESL

    program. Nazar remembers when his ESL instructor invited her class to share their goals

    for their future. “That pushed me to think more seriously about what I wanted to do with

    my future,” he explains, and it helped him to develop a passion for achieving the goals he

    had identified. “I plan to continue learning English until I am fluent, then pass the TOEFL

    exam, and become a project manager or an architect.” Once he completes the ESL program,

    he plans to pursue his undergraduate career at Westchester Community College and, later,

    transfer to a four-year school and obtain his bachelor’s degree.

    Nazar tells us, “I recommend the ESL program at Westchester Community College because

    it will help you to achieve your goals. I am so happy I received this recommendation, and

    now I will pass it along to others.” We wish the best of luck to Nazar and look forward to

    seeing him next semester.

    Nazar studying at the Mount

    Vernon Extension Center

  • NEW!NONCREDIT FOR SPRING

    Computer Basics 1: Operational Skills 2/28 & 3/2, 1-4 pm

    Computer Basics 2: Windows and File Management 3/7 & 3/9, 1-4 pm

    Computer Basics 3: Internet & Email 3/21 & 3/23, 1-4 pm

    REGISTER NOW !

    Classes start January 21st

    Academic counselors available

    M — Th 5-7pm

    ATTEND OUR

    OPEN HOUSE!

    Tuesday, January 10th

    5:30—7:30 PM

    Interested in starting or

    continuing your education?

    Attend our Open House to

    tour our center and speak

    with experts from

    Admissions, Financial Aid,

    Honors, Academic Support,

    and more.

    In its second semester, the Mount

    Vernon Activities Club (MVAC)

    continues to bring fun and educational

    events to the Mount Vernon Extension

    Center. This semester, MVAC first

    hosted a resume writing workshop

    with career counselor Prof. Gelaine

    Williams. Students revised their

    resumes to stand out, and enjoyed

    coffee and pastries courtesy of Steam

    House Express next door. One student

    in attendance has already received two

    job offers! Next, MVAC hosted an

    “International Dessert Party,” where

    students brought in desserts

    representing their cultures. Students

    brought in desserts from almost 20

    different countries, and this popular

    event was enjoyed by many students at

    the center. MVAC even received a visit

    from officers and advisors of the

    Yonkers Activities Council! During the

    holiday season, the club’s annual

    “MVAC Gives Back” encouraged

    students to drop off clothing and food

    to be donated to a local charity. MVAC

    also invited local high school students

    to visit the center to learn about

    preparing for college. We look forward

    to hosting a group of 20 10th grade

    students in the AVID College Readiness Program at Thornton High School. Finally, the semester

    ended with a party to de-stress before finals. MVAC provided snacks in a relaxing environment

    so that students could take a study break and enjoy their last days of the fall semester. We look

    forward to new events hosted by MVAC in the spring!

    STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: JOHNNIE ASIBUO Continued from page 1

    … was used to in Ghana. Prof. Fritz gave us such challenging and engaging assignments that focused on current events and things that are relevant in our lives. It opened up my eyes, and laid the foundation for my career at WCC.” After so much success, we asked Johnnie what she wishes the college knew about her. “I wish the college knew how determined I was to succeed during and after my time here,” she says, “and that I’m really proud of my success, because it hasn’t been easy, and I’ve worked really hard for it.” When asked what advice she would give to other students, Johnnie told us, “WCC is for everyone, and there are so many opportunities and so much support, but it’s about the choices you make. You will get out what you put in. If you are focused on success, with the help of professors and Academic Support, that’s exactly what you will get.” Join us in celebrating Johnnie and all the students working so hard for their success. Keep it up!

    Johnnie (right) tutors student Amanda Kentish (left)

    in preparation for her pre-algebra midterm.

    Visit Us On the Web! sunywcc.edu/locations/mountvernon

    Students together with MVAC officers pose with

    Professor Gelaine Williams from Career Counseling at

    MVAC’s Resume Writing Workshop

    Students are all smiles during MVAC’s International

    Dessert Party hosted in the student lounge

    SPONSORED BY MVAC: FOR STUDENTS, BY STUDENTS