On Thursday, October 18, the Hostos Community College Foundation held its First Annual Donor & Scholar Appreciation Breakfast.

Scholars, alumni, faculty, staff and friends of the College came together at the breakfast to honor those who give in support of student scholarships and the educational mission of the College.

During his remarks, President David Gómez saluted donors and supporters of the college, expressing his appreciation for their generosity. He also spoke of the challenges many students face, from food insecurity to an inability to afford books or transportation, and acknowledged the great impact donors - through their gifts and support - make on those students’ lives. 

“You are the ones who are helping us to make that difference, to find that $2.75 [for a MetroCard], to create a food pantry, to provide emergency food—those are the things that you do with your contributions,” he said. “And whether it’s $5 or $5,000, it makes a difference, and you need to know that. It’s a profound difference in our students’ lives.”

Foundation Board Chair José Sánchez-Kinghorn knows this first-hand. A scholarship recipient himself, he reflected on how the scholarships he received as an undergraduate and graduate student transformed his life and outlook. “While receiving a scholarship award profoundly impacted my journey as a student, it also provided me with a deep appreciation for the fact that someone made it possible,” he said. “It was truly a blessing, and subsequently inspired me to pay it forward and become a donor so that others could have the opportunity that I did.”

Attendees also heard from Hostos scholarship recipients—Stephen Kena, Ladi Adoba, Ashley Ramos and Sakiyna Switzer— who shared how donors’ gifts have positively impacted their educational trajectories and even their personal lives; though each student’s story was unique, they all shared a deep gratitude for the donors whose generosity has supported them in their pursuit of higher education.

Many thanks were given, acknowledgements made, and tears shed throughout the morning event. Donors and supporters in attendance included Dr. Gerald Meyer, Professor Emeritus; Héctor Díaz, President of Acacia Network; Antone Hernton; Larry Blackmon, Vice President of Public Affairs at FreshDirect; and Professor Sandy Figueroa. Members of the Hostos Foundation Board were also present, including Elba Cabrera, Julio Reyes, José Dios, Carolyn McLaughlin, and Rafael Rivera.

View our First Annual Donor & Scholar Appreciation Breakfast photo album here.