The LaGuardia Mellon Humanities Scholars program enriches LaGuardia students’ understanding of the Humanities, and helps them build academic and career pathways in the Humanities. Through biweekly meetings and additional humanities enrichment activities, the Humanities Scholars designs and creates a project that will advance them towards baccalaureate and graduate degrees as well as their future careers.
2016-2017 LaGuardia Mellon Humanities Scholars
The inaugural year of the LaGuardia Mellon Humanities Scholars began with 11 scholars, of which 10 completed the workshops for the year. Six scholars completed their year-long self-designed independent projects in time for the student-curated exhibition Showcase at the end of the year.
Lorena Alatorre is a Early Childhood Education student at LaGuardia Community College. She wants to become a teacher in the K-3 grade. She believes teachers make a big impact on how one child learns and who they are as well. Her inspiration to become a teacher was her 5th grade teacher, who she enjoyed a lot and learned from too. She would like to have the opportunity to give a child the same moments as her teacher gave to her. She has a passion for different kinds of art. She believes that art plays an important role when one tries to teach children. It’s one way in which a teacher can help a student out. Lorena has always been a visual/practical learner and believes that art can be a part of learning.
Anabell Arteaga is a part-time student and full-time mom. Because of her determination and family support, Anabell was able to resume her educational career at LaGuardia Community College, which is giving her the opportunity to complete an Associate’s Degree in Childhood Bilingual Education. Since her first job as a babysitter at a very young age, Anabell knew that her passion was working with kids. Her goal now is to show parents and educators that she can professionally provide love, care, nurture and knowledge to children. The exhausting, but rewarding, job of helping her own three energetic children grow and become decent human beings, is the same responsibility she is pursuing in becoming an educator.
Anny Cuenca is a Liberal Arts student focusing on International Studies at LaGuardia Community College. Having seen so much crime in the neighborhood she grew up in, and also having people close to her lose their life due to crimes, she decided to help people by working with law enforcement and continuing her college education to become a successful police officer. She sees Criminal Justice studies as a stepping stone to her future entry to the Justice Academy and entrance into John Jay College to eventually become a border patrol agent or a customs agent.
Gisela Galvis is a student at LaGuardia Community College,
majoring in Special Early Childhood Education. She hopes to get certified to teach and get a master’s degree in Special Education, so that she can pass on the knowledge she’s acquired to her future students. A mother of two, Gisela volunteered for three years as a “ Learning Leader” helping the first-grade teacher in a school in Jackson Heights. Teaching is also a tradition in or part of the heritage of her family. Gisela is originally from Colombia, where her grandmother had her own school and served as a teacher for many years. Watching their grandmother, all four of her sisters also became teachers. Now, Gisela’s dream is to one day have her own class and help the children with their education and special needs, because early education is extremely significant for children’s future lives.
Michelle Melgar is a Liberal Arts student in Social Sciences and the Humanities at LaGuardia Community College. She plans to pursue a career teaching Philosophy in the hopes of impacting the lives of others positively, causing a ripple effect to improve the minds of many. She has always wanted to help people emotionally and to fight for their rights. She also has an interest in advocating for helpless animals and the environment. In high school, she volunteered with children in special needs programs and ran the Model United Nations club, which fundraised for a Pakistani school for women and started a recycled art project. Many see it as a risky path, but Michele see it as her moral duty to follow in the Humanities path despite her parents’ initial urging to be a doctor. She believes that while there are many doctors and it’s a popular career choice, the world needs someone to advocate for it and everything it entails. She would also love to open an animal shelter and engage in animal rights activities on the side.
Paula Moreno is from Colombia and she came to the United States in 2014. She studied business administration in Colombia for two years. After she moved to New York, she focused on learn English but she got an opportunity to start studying at LaGuardia Community College. She decided to study business administration because she already had some experience in this field, but her main goal is to earn a bachelor’s degree in Accounting. Paula wants to finish this two years, getting an Associate’s degree to be able to enroll in a four-year college and achieve her goal. Paula is patient, optimist, responsible, and a hard worker. She is passionate about her career and learning new things, especially languages such as French and German. In addition, Paula likes to interact with people from different cultures, travel and explore.
Sergio Paredes is a latino college student at LaGuardia Community College. His dream is to change the way people always stereotype and misjudge people. He is currently studying Criminal Justice and in this career field, he sees that there is still a lot of racial profiling and injustice due to economic status.
Florence Pil is a Nursing student at LaGuardia Community College. She has collaborated in the Tribeca’s Films Festivals Power of Words project along with the women at Rikers Island. She has been a participant for Ladders for Leaders since February 2016. Her focus is in promoting equal opportunities for Sex Education and Pediatric Nursing. After being a student at The Young Women’s Leadership School of a Astoria for 6 years, she has experienced the lack of information for maintaining a healthy relationship. After witnessing the distraught faces of female students, it has been her interest to assist young women to be confident of their own bodies, and to provide education for healthy relationships.
Adrian Puran is a business student at LaGuardia Community College. Formerly an engineering student at Brooklyn Tech High School, Adrian struggled with depression and questions of identity. As a first generation American, there was always a pressure to fulfill the American dream on top of the foundation set by his parents. Being a LaGuardia student has become an important part of Adrian’s identity as it introduced him to a new type of diversity and allowed him the opportunity to find a path that he was comfortable with rather than the path expected of him by family. The difference in age and educational background between his classmates at LaGuardia has changed his perspective and has allowed him to become more considerate.
Ivan Taurisano is a LaGuardia Student majoring in Criminal Justice. His interests range from philosophy to the history of arts, including crime novels writing and logic. Ivan was born in Italy, where he obtained a high school diploma in History of Arts from the School of Arts Alessandro Caravillani in Rome, from which he transferred to the University of Roma Tre beginning his studies in History of International Relationships. In 2015, he moved to New York City to follow the legal vein of his family and focus on the study of the law. He is about to obtain his Associates Degree in Criminal Justice from LaGuardia Community College and will be transferring to John Jay College of Criminal Justice to earn a Bachelors in Philosophy, after which he will continue to law school with the final goal of becoming a lawyer.