Lilia Morrero successfully completed the part–time program at CUNY Start this year. As a teenager, Lilia grew up in an unstable home and as a result, she never attended high school. Several years later, she earned her GED and applied to Bronx Community College. After taking the CUNY Assessment tests, Lilia realized that she had triple remedial needs in reading, writing, and math. She attended CUNY Start classes in the evenings for two semesters while working during the day as a savings counselor at a local bank. It wasn’t easy, but after completing our program, Lilia re–tested and passed all her exams. She no longer needs remedial coursework and is planning to major in Business Administration in the Fall.
While reflecting about her experiences in CUNY Start, Lilia said, “Even during my most challenging moments, I never got discouraged because I felt so supported by my teachers and advisors. I am also inspired by my daughter, who is currently a college student at BCC. Before coming to CUNY Start, I hadn’t attended school in 25 years. I didn’t know how to write an analytical essay and I had a hard time understanding algebra. Now I am a much better writer and I actually enjoy math. I feel motivated and ready to pursue my degree.”
Miriam Adunah joined CUNY Start’s Math program in Fall 2014. When she first began taking classes with us, she wondered if could handle the demands of college after being out of school for a few years. She had a longstanding “math–phobia” and struggled with maintaining focus for long periods of time. However, as the semester went on, Miriam applied a “growth mindset” approach to her learning, recognizing her strengths while identifying areas for improvement. Her math teacher described her as a dedicated and compassionate student, who made significant strides in her mathematical abilities in just a few short months. Miriam’s confidence grew exponentially and she became more comfortable vocalizing her ideas during class discussions. Her enthusiasm for learning paid off and at the completion of the program, Miriam passed the CUNY Assessment Test in Math and won a scholarship that will cover the entire cost of tuition at BCC.